12 January 2015
Our Ref: BR2/2/2
12th January 2015
REVENUE PROTECTION CONTRACTORS – NORTHERN RAIL
Further to my letter dated 3rd September 2014, in which I advised you that I was seeking urgent talks with Northern Rail to discuss the introduction of STM Security as a third party provider to assist the company with the collection of revenue in the North East. I can confirm that a meeting was held with the company on 11th November 2014. At the meeting the company confirmed the following:-
• Northern Rail will continue to use the STM Revenue Protection Contractors until the end of the current short term franchise in February 2016. No commitment was given as to what might happen after February 2016.
• Northern confirmed that Revenue Protection will be needed for the foreseeable future. However, the methodology of ticket checking will evolve and the company anticipate that ticketless travel may be a viable option in the future.
• Northern claim that by using STM Revenue Protection Contractors more work has been created for Ticket Office Staff.
• Northern also claim that improvements in technology will in future require the travelling public to purchase their tickets in advance of their journey, therefore there will be a reduced need for Revenue Protection.
• Northern anticipate that in the future more of their stations will be gated, therefore this also will reduce the need for Revenue Protection.
• Northern Rail has advertised six Revenue Protection Assistants posts to work on-train in the Manchester area.
The union’s executive committee has considered this matter and is disappointed by this response from Northern Rail. Noting that the company has given no commitments as to the future of Revenue Protection, the union’s executive committee has reaffirmed that a dispute situation still exists between RMT and Northern. It is also the union’s executive committee’s belief that the company are continuing to actively erode the role of the Guard by continuing to actively pursue the use of unsafe practises such as ‘unit hopping’.
The union’s executive committee has also reaffirmed that RMT will continue to oppose the outsourcing of core railway work to agencies and that the union will do all everything in its power to vigorously defend the role and responsibilities of the Guard and Station Grades. I have therefore been instructed to produce appropriate propaganda to particularly highlight the fact that Northern Rail continue to refuse to provide this union with a straight answer as to how many STM workers are currently operating on the franchise.
Additionally, I am making arrangements for special members meetings to be held within your region with your senior union representatives present to discuss this matter and answer any queries or concerns that you might have. Full details of these meetings will be circulated to all our affected members in due course and I would ask that you make every effort to attend these very important meetings.
I will, of course, keep you fully advised on any further developments.