Our Ref: BR2/14/2
5th August 2021
TRAIN DISPATCH, CORE VALLEY LINES SERVICES – TRANSPORT FOR WALES
Earlier this year Transport for Wales advised the Union that the introduction of the new rolling stock and new services on the Core Valley Lines (CVL) will need to have a reduced dwell time of 30 seconds. To achieve these dwell times, the company has claimed they will require a new method of dispatch for the CVL services on the Metro only, and as such has requested discussions with your Union on this matter.
The Union’s negotiating team met with the company to discuss the situation and how the dwell times could be reduced. However, the company’s proposed changes and options about ‘differing methods of dispatch’ were not in line with Union Policy and, therefore, cannot be accepted. Transport for Wales were advised of our position and a meeting was held with our Representatives, Lead Officer, National Officer, and the National Executive Committee to discuss the issues.
The matter has been considered further by the Union’s National Executive Committee who has instructed our negotiating team to first explore with TfW changes to the infrastructure by seeking an engineering solution to the dwell times. Exploring this option will allow for the retention of the full suite of current competencies for guards. The company must also produce full details of dwell times on all lines.
As instructed by the NEC, I have made the Union’s position completely transparent. The Union and its negotiating team will negotiate within the confines of Union Policy. The RMT is completely opposed to Driver Only Operation in all its forms. All negotiations should comply with the following:
This Union will continue to fight for guards to retain full control of train doors.
The guard must retain a role in dispatch.
There is an absolute 100% guarantee that no trains will run without the second member of staff on board.
That the second member of staff will be clearly designated as safety critical to the running of all services.
That the second member of staff will retain the full suite of safety and operational competencies of the guard, including a direct role at the platform/train interface and train despatch.
Seek guarantees on the role of dispatchers.
I have also advised the company that any attempt by TfW to impose the involvement of the driver in the operation of the train doors, platform/train interface and dispatch duties will lead to a dispute situation between our organisations. It has also been clarified that the Union will not hesitate to ballot you and your colleagues for industrial action, should our concerns not be addressed.
A meeting of our guards, train dispatchers and driver representatives will be held with our Lead Officer in the coming weeks to discuss the dispute and how we can move forward.
I trust this keeps you fully advised, and I will update you on any further developments when they arise.