Our Ref: BR2/14/2

9th August 2019


Dear Colleague


As you know the union balloted you and your colleagues for industrial action over a number of serious issues raised by your representatives in relation to the introduction of new rolling stock on the lowlander services. The situation had clearly reached breaking point and members voted massively in favour of taking action, giving a clear indication that you demanded the company address our concerns.

With a clear mandate from you and your colleagues, your negotiating team met with management on 26th July 2019 to try to address this matter. I am pleased to inform you there was a substantial shift in management’s position. The company has committed to the following: -

• We will continue our policy of filling all existing vacancies

• 8 temporary Sleeper Hosts will be recruited based on a 24 hour working week but with the ability to work up to full time as required. Based in Euston and Glasgow/Edinburgh we will also ensure that they are able to support Highland services as required. These will be on a separate temporary roster.

• We will also recruit 8 temporary Deputy Team Leaders. Sourced from existing Sleeper hosts they shall remain on their normal roster lines but will be available to cover both Team Leader and Host shifts. These positions will be paid at the midpoint of the salaries for Sleeper Host and Sleeper team leader plus 10% for the duration of the role (£28,725 p.a.).

• A payment of £350 gross will be made to all non-leadership grade colleagues in the pay run before Christmas (13 December) in recognition of the Mk 5 introduction period.

The process of advertising and recruiting these temporary positions shall start immediately. These roles shall be reviewed at the end of the Operational Excellence review but shall be in place until at least 31 December 2019.

The above roles are in addition to the additional temporary resource outlined below already identified and are progressing;

• 4 Presentation Supervisors (2 in Polmadie, 2 in Wembley), to walk the train checking standards prior to going into service • Technical depot support Polmadie and Wembley, to work with Alstom and CAF to ensure that our requirements are prioritised and completed satisfactorily • Outstation Support at Inverness, Fort William and Aberdeen to support the launch of the Highland service and to offer reassurance and guidance to staff • Waverley technical support to support the key shunting moves overnight on the Highland services • 2 Key Cutters in Euston • 6 GSC staff in Glasgow • 3 additional GSC staff in Inverness • 2 Lounge ambassadors in Inverness • Additional TM resource to allow more on train support

The Lead Officer has confirmed that the additional train positions are temporary in nature as the “Operational Excellence Review” is a joint working party with four RMT representatives. This working group is looking at all aspects of the Caledonian Sleeper and how it impacts on staff numbers. If at the conclusion of the review it is deemed necessary to introduce additional full time staff a commitment has been given that these additional staff numbers will be brought in to ensure a safe and far less stressful working environment for all.

Having considered the views of your representatives and lead officer, the NEC has decided to accept the above as a temporary agreement but we remain in dispute until a permanent agreement is in place and all vacancies are filled.

I want to thank you all for your determination and solidarity which has made this agreement possible. It’s no coincidence that the Serco Caledonian Sleeper only started to properly address our concerns after you had voted so overwhelmingly in favour of action. This is what strong industrial trade unionism is all about.

We have informed the company of our acceptance of the above temporary agreement and the NEC will be getting regular reports from your reps and lead officer as this is implemented to ensure the situation improves to the benefit of members’ health and wellbeing.

I will keep you informed of any further developments on this issue when they arise.

Yours sincerely  


Mick Cash

General Secretary