RMT releases proposed deal to break Southern Rail deadlockRSS Feed

RMT releases proposed deal to break Southern Rail deadlock

4 July 2017

RMT Press Office:

RMT releases proposed deal to break Southern Rail deadlock as it reveals that 8000 trains a year are running without protection of second member of staff.

On the day that the RMT General Secretary Mick Cash meets MPs on the Southern Rail Cross Party Group and when MPs later debate the government sponsored Gibb report, RMT has released a fresh proposal to break the deadlock in the long-running Southern Rail dispute.

The union also revealed that at least as many as 158 trains a week, or 8216 a year, on affected services are running without a second person on-board raising renewed concerns about safety, security and passenger accessibility.

In a letter (below) to MP’s RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said that the union had proposed to trial for six months an ‘accessibility guarantee’ which would mean all affected services are:  

•    Operated safely and efficiently with a Train driver and an On-Board Supervisor
•    That services would include an ‘accessibility guarantee’ for all passengers, enabling the disabled, elderly, vulnerable and others, to be provided with guaranteed assistance from on-board staff on all services, without the need to book in advance.
•    Would deliver high levels of customer service in accordance with the company’s objectives.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“We will be telling MPs that we are hoping the company will reconsider our proposal for a trial six month period of an accessibility guarantee.

“We would hope that they would agree to this sensible proposal as the Association of Train Operating Companies consultant’s report has said train companies should guarantee a second person to comply with their legal obligations.  That there is no agreement yet points to the continued hand of Chris Grayling blocking a settlement as even the government backed Gibb report into Southern Rail admitting that the Secretary of State is determining the direction of this dispute.

“The reason this dispute is now entering its fifteenth month is because the government have backed the employer. MPs now need to ask when the government is going to back a fair settlement instead.”

ENDS


Letter to Southern rail MPs

Dear                                                      

I am writing to update you about recent developments in the GTR Southern dispute.

The crux of the dispute is our belief that all passengers benefit from the guarantee of a second safety critical member of staff on board every train. That is why I want to share with you a recent proposal we made to GTR to break the deadlock and help settle this dispute.

Our proposal was that all train services run by GTR on the routes affected by the dispute would be covered by an accessibility guarantee which would mean all services:

•    Are operated safely and efficiently with a Train driver and an On-Board Supervisor.
•    That services would have an accessibility guarantee to all passengers for all train services in scope, enabling the disabled, elderly, vulnerable and others, to be provided with guaranteed assistance from on board staff on all services, without the need to book in advance.
•    Would deliver high levels of customer service in accordance with the company’s objectives.

This accessibility guarantee would mean that all trains could be accessed and that assistance was available.

In a further effort to resolve the dispute we have proposed a trial for the accessibility guarantee of six months to then be reviewed by both sides.

Unfortunately the company have rejected our proposals even for a trial.

We are concerned that their refusal to consider our trial is being driven by government instructions especially as company figures we have obtained also show that as many as 158 trains a week, or 8216 a year, are currently running without a second person. Such a high volume of trains running without a second person not only drastically reduces accessibility, it also increases safety and security risks.

The fact that the company refused to consider our proposal is why we have had no option but to resume the industrial action in an attempt to get them back around the table.

I hope you can agree our proposal is a real opportunity for resolution and that you will help put pressure both on the Government and GTR to negotiate with me.

As I have said before “Where there is a will, there is a way,” and I do believe if GTR showed the same resolve then we could make progress to the benefit of all passengers and the region.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely


Mick Cash
General Secretary


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