Our Ref: SH/5/9
1st October 2019
SICKNESS ABSENCE PROCEDURE – STENA LINE
Further to my letter dated 3rd September 2019, I can report to you that further talks have taken place to discuss the sickness absence procedure. Your union put forward a proposal to establish a working group to address problems and examine the root causes of the absence problems. However, this proposal was initially blocked by the company and the union’s negotiating team were advised that proposed changes to the sickness absence policy (i.e. the new ‘trigger points’) would be implemented as per their schedule. I advised the company that due to their refusal to postpone the implementation of the new sickness ‘trigger points’, a dispute situation now existed between Stena and the RMT and that the union would ballot affected members for industrial action.
Following on from this Stena Line has now confirmed that they will suspend the implementation of the sickness ‘trigger points’ until 1st November 2019 pending further discussions with the union’s negotiating team. This is a significant climb down from management, who just a few weeks ago were hell bent on imposing additional new punitive measures into the sickness absence procedure. It is a credit to a united workforce that is prepared to stand firm which has forced Stena to U-turn.
The union will continue to monitor the situation and I shall, of course, keep you informed on any further developments.