Southern reject RMT offer

Southern reject RMT offer

6 October 2016

RMT Press Office:

Southern reject RMT offer of new package that could solve the guards dispute

Southern reject RMT offer of new package that could solve the guards dispute

RAIL UNION RMT has confirmed that a fresh set of proposals that could have resolved the on-going guards dispute has been rejected out of hand by the company. As a result, the next phase of action scheduled to begin next week goes ahead.

The RMT proposals would allow for the current conductors to migrate across to the new role of On Board Supervisor,  addressing the issue at the heart of Southern’s implementation plans.

For a an agreed transitional period the OBS role would retain all of the current safety competencies and requirements of the conductor.
During that transition period the company and the union would work jointly to create a new framework of processes and procedures that would retain the second safety critical members of staff on current services, agree a safe and reliable method of train despatch, address the customer service objectives of Southern and ensure access to services for all.

Not only have the company rejected RMT’s rational proposals, but they have also rejected a union offer to bring the government conciliation service ACAS in immediately to try and close the gap between the two sides. Southern have also confirmed that they are now hell-bent of bulldozing through a wholesale introduction of Driver Only Operation with 1600 trains a day running without a safety-competent guard by January.

Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary said,
“The union is angry and disappointed that a fresh set of proposals put forward by the union today that address both our issues and the company agenda have been rejected out of hand with barely a cursory glance. The travelling public will be rightly angry that the company have kicked back in our faces a chance to resolve this long-running dispute.

“There was a real chance of getting a negotiated solution on track today but Southern have not only slammed the door on that but they have also rejected RMT’s offer to draft in ACAS immediately to try and close the gap and broker a settlement. That is scandalous.

“This week we have seen Southern launch a botched attempt to incite the public against their front line workforce. Today that same company have shown that they have no interest in negotiating with the staff union and are hell-bent on having a punch up with the rail workers who keep the travelling public safe.

“Attempts to bribe and bully the Southern Rail staff with the threat of the sack leave an indelible stain on Britain’s railways. The union now awaits confirmation on exactly what the company propose to do next and we will be taking guidance, and offering our members advice, once we know exactly what Southern’s intentions are.”


Note to editors:
The full detail of RMT’s proposals is as below:

1.    Recognising the company’s objective to move its implementation plans along, the RMT accepts that on an agreed date conductors will migrate to a new role of On Board Supervisor (OBS).
2.    Recognising the RMT’s objective of retaining a second safety critical competent person on each service where it is currently required, Southern (GTR) accepts that for a defined transition period (to be agreed) the OBS role and post-holders on such services will retain all of the current competencies and requirements of a conductor and that those services will operate in the current mode, with a second safety critical and competent OBS on board all services throughout the transition period.
3.    During the transition period Southern (GTR) will work jointly with RMT and representatives of train drivers to create a new set of operational processes and procedures that will be acceptable to all parties with the remit:
•    That those services that currently require a conductor will retain a second safety critical and competent OBS on each service that runs.
•    That the two train crew will jointly operate the service in a safe, efficient and reliable mode.
•    The role and competencies will encompass the customer service objectives of Southern (GTR).
•    That high levels of accessibility for all passengers including disabled, elderly, and all those that may need assistance or guidance, accessibility is a priority
4.    Building on the work previously done at ACAS, a set of defined competencies will be jointly devised and agreed to enable OBS post-holders to operate trains in the new agreed mode.
5.    Both parties agree that the adoption of these proposals will enable them to finalise by an agreed date the migration of conductors to the OBS role, on a jointly agreed programme and set of arrangements.  These arrangements will be developed from those that have already been tabled and will ensure fairness in terms of which staff will migrate and which will remain as conductors.

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Tagged with: southern, gtr, govia, doo, driver only operation, guards, conductors