July 06 Bulletin
2006 FGW (ex-Wessex Sectional Council)
RMT Representatives on the FGW Sectional Council are currently as for ex-Wessex Sectional Council:
• Rail Operators: Tim Wilkinson (07760 377515) & Glen Burrows (07764 994541)
• Clerical staff: Ian Baikie (07855 185314)
PAY & CONDITIONS TALKS
Negotiations are ongoing (ex-Wessex rep. in Pay Talks is Brian Willey), but have been delayed by Re-Organisation & the Pensions Dispute. Next Pay Meeting is 24th July. RMT has rejected an offer of 3.5%, & is looking for a substantial flat rat increase for lowest-paid staff, 35-hour week for all staff; improved family-friendly policies and a common Pay Anniversary. More news after 24th July.
Present facilities remain valid until 30th September 2006. This date will be reviewed depending progress with Pay & Conditions talks.
PENSIONS DISPUTE – BRISTOL MEETINGHear Bob Crow report on the latest developments in the Railways Pension Dispute
Tuesday, July 25
The Railway Club
Bristol Temple Meads Station
Meeting starts at 6.30pm
HARMONISATIONWe’ve asked for talks to begin before 31st July across the 3 original companies, and have set up a working group to draw up our demands for harmonisation of pay and conditions. Glen Burrows & Ian Baikie will represent ex-Wessex staff on this working group
Truro Call Centre is to close at the end of September. Staff have been offered a move to First Info at Plymouth under the PT&R with their existing conditions.In the meantime there are opportunities within Cornwall,at Penzance ( CO2 currently advertised), Revenue Protection,On Board Staff and the staffing of Par Station in connection with the Newquay Branch. RMT members should contact Ian Baikie for advice.
The introduction of new tickets was a shambles, with no attempt to train or brief staff. Staff working under pressure have no time to “pick up” new systems, nor read long briefing documents. It’s very stressful, particularly at single-staffed stations, to be “dumped on” in this way. If FGW want to present a professional image, then they need to take this sort of thing seriously, since nothing is more designed to put passengers off than station staff who don’t appear to know what they’re doing. Ex-Wessex Associate Trainers are still in place, so they should have been used in this situation. Head of Stations Mark Heffernan has accepted this criticism, and has said he will endeavour to correct the situation. Ask your manager to arrange a briefing for you, if you have not already done so. And don’t take work home with you!
UNIFORMFGW have agreed that female RO staff who work in booking offices can be supplied with cardigans – as are their CO counterparts.
We’ve also asked for female staff to have a choice of pink shirts or white, for female blouses to have female fastenings, and for platform staff to be supplied with warmer clothing which is less bulky than the waterproof overcoat. We’ve also asked for a Uniform Committee to be set up, to represent staffs’ views. These points are being considered by the Uniform Project Group
TICKET VENDING MACHINES
New machines will be purchased in September. Some of these will replace existing machines, but where new locations are proposed, consultation will take place before installation. We have said that staff are not prepared to take on any additional duties in relation to TVMs unless, other duties are dropped, or appropriate remuneration is agreed. We also said that TVMs are not the answer to revenue protection, since fare-dodgers will continue to avoid machines! There will be further consultation on this , along with proposals for stations where we have raised the problem of inadequate staffing levels and lack of relief staff, leading to time-off being refused.
STATION CLEANINGWe expressed concern over the growing level of cleaning required, especially with growth of retail outlets at stations. It is not fair that station staff should have to clean up after café & bar patrons. There is a particular problem with public use of toilets. Once the new management teams are in place, there will be a review of station cleaning and how best to support staff. In the meantime, it would be a good idea to log all cases of cleaning work which cannot be carried out due to lack of time/over-use etc. and for local reps to raise these issues at LDC meetings.
INTRANET & INTERNET ACCESS
It is not FGW policy to allow unlimited internet access to staff, but only to resources for train information. It is hard to argue against this, as it’s hard to see why why anyone would want unlimited access at work! Our concern, however, is that email and intranet access have been woeful since April 1st. Some stations have had virtually no email access. Since a large amount of information is being sent by email, this is clearly not good for business! All stations must have Intranet access. Please contact Glen Burrows if yours does not. FGW is in the process of updating and improving IT, and Glen will pass on details of inadequately resourced ex-Wessex stations
SACKED MEMBER REINSTATED
Emmanuel John, who was sacked while completing his probationery period at St Austell, has been reinstated on appeal. He was supported throughout by the RMT
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE with any individual or local probems relating to your work. If you don’t know who your representative is, contact Glen, Ian, or Tim for details
SUPPORT YOUR BRANCH!The best source of information, support and advice is your Branch. Details of meetings are on your membership card
For details: www.rmtbristolrail.org.uk
TOLPUDDLE MARTYRS Festival 14-16 July
We shall never forget what we owe them.