Our Ref: BR2/0146

12th August 2020

Dear Colleague,


Further to my previous correspondence on the above issue I am writing to update you on the current situation and progress made.

As you are aware, Merseyrail plans to introduce the New Class 777 fleet onto the network. Eight four car units have now arrived at the new Kirkdale Depot facility. Test runs have been taking place at night, and a team of Stadler staff from Europe are on site overseeing the testing. The anticipated date for introduction into passenger service is now January 2021.

The proposed method of working, negotiated and endorsed by the RMT Union (option nine), has been subject to a considerable amount of prevarication from the ORR. However, I am pleased to report that Merseyrail has advised the union that the company have met with the ORR and that they were now happy for “Option Nine” to be endorsed by them as the method of operation of the class 777. This overcomes one of the two obstacles that have been holding up the process for so long. The only remaining issue is the negotiations on remunerations for our driver members who will now be required to undertake additional skills and responsibilities. Presently no offer has been made by the Company and discussions are still ongoing.

The National Executive Committee has considered this matter and has instructed me to contact the Mayors office, Merseytravel and Merseyrail to inform them that negotiations have concluded to an agreement of all parties from the RMT side. The NEC believes with the next build stage of the new units shortly to start, the need for a final document is paramount. I will be asking the company to produce the final documents as soon as possible as the union is keen to start the referendum process.

The union would like to thank you and your colleagues for your solidarity and steadfast determination during this dispute. The support you have shown your union, negotiating team and colleagues has been phenomenal throughout our campaign to ‘Keep the Guard on the Train’.

I trust this keeps you all fully advised and I will write to you again once I have received further information.

Yours sincerely

RMT Union