Our Ref BR2/0146
31st July 2019
TO ALL GUARDS, GUARDS STANDARD MANAGERS AND TRAIN DRIVERS AT MERSEYRAIL
LATEST PROPOSALS REJECTED
FURTHER STRIKE ACTION CALLED!
ROLE OF THE GUARD AND INTRODUCTION OF DOO – MERSEYRAIL
Further to my letter of 18th July 2019, all affected members were provided with a copy of the latest proposals from the company and your reps and the National Executive Committee met on 24th July 2019 to discuss members’ views. This meeting was attended by your company council reps, the lead officer, members of the NEC and national officers including myself where detailed feedback was given during a full, frank and honest debate. In light of the unanimous view of the meeting, the NEC has now considered this matter and rejected the company’s proposals.
Our discussions with Merseyrail on the role of the guard have been ongoing at ACAS for over 15 months. During this period the NEC met with your negotiating team on numerous occasions to monitor the latest developments giving instructions on how to proceed. Your negotiating team have attempted to carry out the instructions of the NEC, reporting back in detail at all key points in what has been a drawn out three phase negotiating process at ACAS.
At the latest meeting held on 24th July the clear views expressed by drivers and guards alike was that the proposed method of train despatch was still unsatisfactory and is a less safe option. When you consider the despatch methods that have been successfully fought for and agreed in our disputes on other TOCs, we could have been in a completely different situation if management hadn’t approved the design of the new trains before even agreeing the despatch method. Effectively Merseyrail have wrapped a straitjacket around their position preventing them from moving enough to satisfy members, who it is extremely clear still believe that the Guard should be responsible for the safe dispatch of the train as they are now.
The NEC has placed on record its gratitude for the hard work and efforts of the negotiating team throughout this process in difficult and often hostile talks. Unfortunately the offer still fails to meet the aspirations of members and consequently have no alternative but to call members to take industrial action as outlined below.
All Guard, Guards Standards Managers and Train Drivers are instructed not to book on for any shifts that commence between: -
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Saturday 24th August 2019
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Tuesday 3rd September 2019
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Thursday 5th September 2019
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Monday 30th September 2019
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Wednesday 2nd October 2019
• 00.01 hours until 23.59 hours on Friday 4th October 2019
Once again I want to thank you for your continued support for your union throughout this dispute and urge you to shoulder to shoulder with your colleagues on the days of action. Management must be left in no doubt of your strength of feeling and solidarity on this issue. The Role of the Guard must be defended!
SUPPORT THE ACTION
UNITY IS STRENGTH