Role of The Guard & Introduction of DOO Merseyrail

To All Merseyrail Guards, Guard Standards Managers and Drivers

Our Ref: BR2/0146

25th September 2019


Dear Colleague,

Role of The Guard & Introduction of DOO – Merseyrail

Further to previous correspondence on the above, I have received a report from the Lead Officer, in which he advises me that a series of meetings and safety workshops have been held.

The safety workshops considered six possible options and variations. It ruled out any proposals to have different methods of operations on different parts of the network.

Your negotiators identified two options as a basis to move forward. The first option is a 13 stage procedure, and has a dwell time of 30 seconds. The second option is a 20 stage procedure, and involves the CSO having local door control. It is the second option that is supported by the reps and the Lead Officer. However, the currently identified dwell time for this option is 42 seconds. This is deemed unacceptable by the Authority as it would require the purchase of an additional two trains to meet the timetable.

The National Executive Committee has considered the matter and has noted the latest report from the Lead Officer and that a series of meetings have taken place involving himself, the NEC member for the Region and the Guards Council Reps alongside the company and that progress is being made with 2 options now being on the table.

This NEC notes that the only option that is in line with Union policy is the second option and therefore the first option in its current format is unacceptable. The National Executive Committee do, however, note that further discussions are scheduled over the next 2 weeks on both options and that these should be explored with the objective of reaching one agreed method of operation that is in line with Union policy.

Therefore, to allow for further discussions the National Executive Committee has suspended the industrial action scheduled for 30th September and the 2nd and 4th October and members are instructed to work normally.

Finally, the National Executive Committee as instructed me to convene a meeting at Unity House with the SAGs, NEC, Lead Officer and Guards Council Reps to take place during week commencing 7th October 2019 where a recommended method of dispatch is presented.

The National Executive Committee has made it clear, however, that if a recommended method of despatch, that is acceptable to them, is not presented then further industrial action will be called.

I will, of course, keep you advised of developments.

Yours sincerely,


Mick Cash
General Secretary