Network Rail Maintenance Matters
RMT Circular No: IR/0238/07: 10 October 2007
PAY ERRORS - TAX ON COMPANY VEHICLES - PTR&R ARRANGEMENTS - CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR ARRANGEMENTS 2007
Your union has been complaining for some time to Network Rail about the amount of pay errors our members are suffering. The matter was discussed at a National Maintenance Council meeting on 28th September. Our worst fears were confirmed when the company told us that there have been over 8,000 pay errors in the past year, which means that over 55% of maintenance staff had suffered from pay problems.
The company identified a number of causes
* missing timesheets
* errors in completing timesheets
* complex number of terms and conditions
* at least 36 different types of timesheets
* inputting errors at Manchester,
* different days of week for completing timesheets
* lack of administrative support
Your union has expressed its shocked at the scale of the problems and has been scathing in our criticisms. In response, the company identified a number of possible solutions which it believes would considerably reduce the number of pay errors and go a long way to solving the problems.
* Introduction of 46 new admin posts in the maintenance areas to support the payroll system
* Trialling of a new single timesheet for all maintenance workers
* Introduction of new system for identifying timesheets to ensure none go missing when sent to Manchester
* Introducing a uniform day for all employees to complete the timesheet, which is Friday of each week
* Briefings and information on completing timesheets for members
The company asked for union support for the proposed changes. We sought and were given assurances that none of the changes proposed would change terms and conditions which are being separately discussed.
In responding, your union agreed to trialling the new timesheets in Scotland but only following consultation with our Scottish representatives. However, before we accepted the whole proposal, we informed the company that we would seek the views of our representatives particularly about the introduction of a uniform day for completing timesheets.
Currently, timesheets are completed on any day from Friday to Monday and sent to Manchester on Monday. In future, timesheets would have to be completed by Friday with the first turn being a Friday and last turn being a Thursday, but only for timesheet completion. This will not change the roster week for employees. Currently, former First Engineering and Carillion workers have a roster week that starts on a Friday and finishes on Thursday.
Network Rail management assure us that by introducing all these measures together they will reduce pay errors.
I would like to have your views, particularly about the uniform day for completing timesheets.
TAX ON COMPANY VEHICLES (BR5/10/5)
Network Rail has informed your union that since the introduction of the new tax regime it has been in discussions with the Inland Revenue over complying with the new regulations. In a nut shell, management say that they need to be able to prove to the tax authorities that the pooled vehicles used by the majority of maintenance staff are not being used for personal use. They have concerns that the driving mileage books are not being completed properly and unless the system is improved individuals who drive the vehicles could face paying more tax.
One solution suggested was to put electronic tracking devices in the vehicles. We have raised serious concerns about such a solution and have asked Network Rail to have a re-think. In the meantime, the company stated that it will need to ensure that employees complete the mileage books correctly. Members can expect the company to be tougher on completing the books in the future.
PTR&R ARRANGEMENTS (BR5/16/4)
Network Rail has made a proposal to alter the PTR&R arrangements for maintenance. The company would like to replace the current Sectional D section of the agreement and has made a proposal which has been sent out to area council representatives for their comments. A meeting of representatives is to be held at the end of October with the General Grades Committee to discuss the matter.
The union has a clear policy to fight any erosion of the PTR&R and when we meet our representatives we will discuss how we can best pursue our policy.
The issue was raised by management at the National Maintenance Council meeting on 28th September 2007, but I have made it clear to the company that we will not discuss its proposals further until we have met with our representatives.
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR ARRANGEMENTS 2007 (BR4/7/2)
Network Rail has written to the union with proposals which are identical to arrangements agreed last year. The matter has been place before GGC for consideration.
I will keep you advised of developments on all the above matters in due course.