20 June 2016
RMT Press Office:
On eve of guards strike Southern rail bosses embroiled in a new bonus scandal.
RAIL UNION RMT today reveals new parliamentary questions which show that Government fines on Govia Thamelink Railway for poor performance are less than the £3.4 million the company paid in bonuses and salary to just two of GTR’s directors
New parliamentary answers have shown that the fines levied by the Government on GTR - the UK’s worst performing railway - for train cancellations, are less than the bonuses and payments of GTR bosses.
Despite passengers enduring daily misery with thousands of service cancellations, the government has only fined GTR £2 million since the start of the franchise in 2014. This is less than the £3.4 million paid to just two GTR bosses for just one year - Chief Executive Officer David Brown (£2.16 million) and recently resigned Finance Director Keith Down (£1.26 Million).
The parliamentary questions and answers were:
Tim Loughton MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much has been paid in fines by Govia Thamelink Railway to his Department to compensate for poor performance in each of the last three years.
Claire Perry MP (rail minister): Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR’s) provision of services for the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise only began on 14 September 2014, with Southern services included from 26 July 2015. There is an incentive/penalty regime in place and this has seen just over £2 million levied against GTR in respect of their Cancellation and Short-Formation performance benchmarks.
To add insult to injury further parliamentary answers have revealed that GTR can continue running services where less than half its train run on time with no penalty whatsoever:
Andy McDonald MP: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of whether the most recent Public Performance Measure figures reported by Govia Thameslink Railway put Govia Thameslink Railway in breach of its Remedial Plan.
Claire Perry MP (rail minister): The Public Performance Measure figure does not put Govia Thameslink Railway in breach of their Remedial Plan. The Franchise Agreement does not include the Public Performance Measure as one of the benchmarks against which their performance is measured. The Department for Transport (DfT) performance benchmarks for Govia Thameslink Railway are for Delay minutes and Cancellations for which GTR are responsible, and Peak Short formation, as specified under Schedule 7.1 of the Franchise
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said;
"On the eve of the Southern guards strike, a strike in defence of jobs, services and safety, we have new evidence that proves that the Government have bent the franchise rules to minimise penalties on the company and allow the top bosses to pay themselves fatcat bonuses while services are in chaos. It is outrageous.
"RMT's dispute is not with the passengers who suffer the daily misery of incompetence, arrogance and racketeering on the Southern rail routes. Our dispute is with the company who, with the connivance of the Government, have declared war on passengers and staff alike.
"RMT knows that when Southern talk about "changing the role of the guard" what they really mean is axing the guards all together as they put their profits above public safety. The company refuse point blank to discuss this fundamental issue and that is why we have no option but to strike again. If we didn't we would be giving Southern a green light to bulldoze through changes that would be catastrophic for safety at the Platform/Train interface.
"RMT regrets the further inconvenience to passengers that the action will cause on this basket-case franchise that shames Britain's railways. Our message to passengers is that our fight is your fight and that the battle for our jobs today is to protect your safety tomorrow.
If we stand together we can defeat this company and its attacks on jobs, services and safety. "
Note. Franchise documents can be accessed below.