Our Ref: BR2/0146
7th February 2018
ROLE OF THE GUARD & INTRODUCTION OF DOO – LONDON NORTHWESTERN / WEST MIDLANDS RAILWAY
I am writing further to my previous letter dated 8th January 2018 updating you on a discussion I had with Jan Chaudhry-Van Der Velde the Managing Director of West Midlands Trains Ltd.
A month has now passed since this discussion and I had hoped that we would be further forward, with some progress being made with the company. However, as of today, I have still not received any positive indication from the company about the future Role of the Guard.
This raises a number of concerns especially as I have been made aware that whilst we are seeking proper discussion through the negotiating procedures the company are training managers to act as conductors. This does not bode well for proper and meaningful discussions particularly if you also bear in mind that company have issued a new Disability policy that has removed all references to the conductor.
Therefore, if I do not receive clear proposals from the company by Thursday 8th February than I shall write to the company to seek the following:-
- Guarantee a conductor on every train.
- Guarantee that the train would not run without a conductor on board.
- Guarantee that the conductor would retain their full safety critical competencies.
- Commitment to sit down with all stakeholders and agree the method of train dispatch for the new trains that are being introduced.
Additionally we need clarity from the company that the new rolling stock will be configured to enable a conductor and to operate for conventional working. I intend to place any response from the company back before the National Executive Committee on 14th February 2018 for them to consider the next steps. I think you would agree that the company has had long enough time to consider this matter.
I trust this keeps you fully advised and I will keep you updated on this issue.