Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Rates of Pay & Conditions of Service 2013-South West Trains

Circular No: IR/693/13

Our Ref: BR2/0001/SWT; BR2/0001/IL; BR2/0001/CC; BR2/0001/ATW

27th November 2013




South West Trains (BR2/0001/SWT)
Island Line (BR2/0001/IL)
Cross Country (BR2/0001/CC)
Arriva Trains Wales (BR2/0001/ATW)

Dear colleague,

Rates of Pay & Conditions of Service 2013 – South West Trains

In line with Union Policy, a pay claim for an increase in pay and improved terms and conditions has been submitted. The Regional Organiser has met with the company and the following offer has been made:-

· A one-year offer of 3% on basic rates of pay or £600, whichever is greater, effective from 7th October 2013.

· London & South East Allowances will remain at the current rates.

The pay offer also includes the former DB Schenker staff transferred to SWT in September 2013. These grades will, receive a pro rata percentage increase relating to the date of their 2014 pay anniversary date (1st January 2014 for Engineering team members, 1st April 2014 for Fitters & OTMs and 1st July 2014 for FAMS assistants).

The next pay review for these grades would then align with other SWT grades in October 2014

The offer is the subject of a referendum which opened on Tuesday 26th November and it closes on Thursday 17th December. If you have any South West Trains members in your branch and they do not receive their voting paper, please ask them to ring the helpline or alternatively, email

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow
General Secretary

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Industrial Strategy -McNulty Report







Circular No IR/576/13


To All Branches, Regional Offices & Regional Councils


Our Ref: BR1/15/9


4th October 2013



Dear Colleague




Further to my Circular No IR/493/13 dated the 22nd August 2013 with regards to the above matter and in relation to the series of special meetings taking place with our union representatives to discuss our strategy and key demands in response to the McNulty report, I can now advise you that a well attended meeting has been held in Plymouth.


The General Grades Committee notes the report on file regarding the successful meeting at Plymouth with regards to the McNulty Report awareness. Further, the Senior Assistant General Secretary, Regional Organiser and National Executive member addressed the very well attended meeting and it was clear from the meeting that the RMT needs to step up its campaign to further highlight to the public and media the critical roles that railway workers perform day in and day out. Therefore, the union will be producing special newsletters for our members and publications for the travelling public to address this.


Further, the General Grades Committee notes that an additional South West meeting is taking place in Exeter on Tuesday 22ndOctober 2013 at 18.00 hours in the Barnfield Theatre, Barnfield Road, Exeter.


The General Grades Committee has also reiterated its previous decision to hold meetings in Glasgow, London, Doncaster, Newcastle and Norwich as part of the McNulty Strategy and I have been instructed to urgently obtain details of these meetings.


In accordance with the above, I would be most grateful if you could bring the content of this circular to the attention of all your members and I will, of course, keep you fully advised on any further developments.            


Best wishes.

Bob Crow

General Secretary



Monday, 29 July 2013

TUPE Update

Circular No: NP/ 200/13

Our Ref: LA/ 29 /13


29th July 2013


To: Branches, Regional Councils & Regional Offices


Dear Colleague,



Yet another kick in the teeth for Trade Unions comes again from Europe, in a in a case which it had been hoped would change TUPE law in favour of employees. Alemo-Herron vs. Parkwood Leisure was a landmark case with serious implications, particularly for workers being transferred from the public sector to private sector companies.

The case was brought almost three years ago after Parkwood Leisure refused to pay its workers an increase in line with a collective agreement the employees understood to have been transferred as part of their protections under TUPE Regulations.

However, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on18 July 2013) ruled that industry or sector-wide collective agreements that are incorporated into the contracts of employees should not be protected during a transfer.

The contracts of Parkwood Leisure employees stated that their wages should rise "from time to time" according to collective bargaining agreements, but the Court ruled that such "dynamic" agreements do not need to be adhered to after a transfer has taken place.

However, the collectively-agreed pay rate of workers at the time of their transfer continues to be protected under TUPE regulations.

The decision is a very disappointing one for the trade unionmovement, the ECJ has shifted the traditional interpretation of TUPE as a set of legislation to protect workers, to concentrate on therights of bosses instead.

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow

General Secretary



Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Fees in Employment Tribunals

Circular No NP/182/13

To All Branches, Regional Offices & Regional Councils

Our Ref: LA/28/13

17th July 2013


Dear Colleagues,


Fees in Employment Tribunals

I have previously advised on the Union’s opposition to the imposition of fees in employment tribunals (see Circular NP/244/12). Unfortunately the fees are now a reality.

Fees will be payable in all employment tribunal claims fromMonday 29th July 2013The Union advises therefore that all current claims which have not been issued should be issuedbefore this date so as to avoid the requirement to pay the fee. Thereafter all Tribunal applications must be accompanied by a fee depending upon the level and whether the application is for a single member or in a group.

Type A Claims - the issue fee is £160 (wages claims; payment in lieu; redundancy payments and refusal for time off for ante natal claims);

Type B Claims the issue fee is £250 (unfair dismissal claims; discrimination claims; equal pay; whistle blowing claims).

There are separate fees for multiple claims which are complicated. Guidance and training will be provided by our Legal Department to all Officers and Union Reps in due course.

If members apply online the system will tell them the correct level of fee.

If member is claiming for more than one type of claim, then only one fee is payable but it is for the higher level; so for example, a claim for unfair dismissal and wages in lieu, the fee would be £250.

The fee must be paid when either the member or the Union submits the claim online or when posted. Payment for claims online will be made by a credit or debit card and by post with acheque or postal order. No cash payments can be made.

The fee or application for remission (see below) should be sentat the same time as the claim form. Failure to do so will result in the claim being rejected. The form and the fee must be sent within the time limit (usually 3 months less one day) for claims. The claim will not be accepted by the Tribunal if the fee is sent outside the time limit.  This will lead to the claim not beingprocessed and probably struck out.

Remission scheme

A system of fee waivers and reductions known as “remission system” is available for those who cannot afford to pay a fee.

Although this Union will pay all fees where our legal team has said that there is a reasonable case, we are asking all members to automatically apply for a remission so as to reduce the amount we have to pay.  It will also create work for a system that we believe will be unable to cope with the applications. Therefore we are asking every member to complete application formT438A which is the claim form for a remission.

There are 3 types of remissions or rebates that are available.

Remission 1: no fee payable if member receives means tested benefits (e.g. job seekers allowance; income support; working tax credit; pension credit; Scottish Civil Legal Aid)

Remission 2: no fee is payable if members gross annual incomebefore tax and other deductions or that of their partner is below the following thresholds:

No children: Single £13,000.  Couple £18,000

1 child         : Single £15,930.  Couple £20,930

2 children    : Single £18,860. Couple £23,860

3 children    : Single £21,790. Couple £26,790

4 children    : Single £24,720. Couple £29,720

Remission 3: the fee payable will be reduced in full or part based on the money member receives and the money they are allowed to claim as spent money each month (i.e. theirdisposable monthly income). So for example, if the members disposable monthly income is £50 to £59 per month their contribution will be £12.50; if £100 to £109 it would be £25.00 contribution.

The member will need to send separately documents of their expenditure and outgoings.  The applications will not be considered without the documents. The Tribunal service hasindicated that they will process the applications within 5 working days. Emergency applications will be done sooner.

Once the application for a remission has been processed or the fee paid the tribunal will process the papers for the case. The case will not be processed until the fee is received or the remission granted.

If financial circumstances change during the case then this can affect future remissions.  Therefore if income goes down then it may be worthwhile applying again for a remission at a later stage.

Our Union Legal Team and our Officers are here to help you through this process. The important thing to consider is that our members should not delay in seeking legal assistance from us; the earlier they seek assistance the better are we are to assist them through the process. Remember if we get the Application forms in for  Legal assistance and papers  in good time and our Solicitor have advised that we have a reasonable case the Union will pay the fee for the member.

New L1 and L2 Forms will shortly be distributed.

We shall also provide training shortly to all Officers and Branch Secretary and Reps in the procedures involved.

Bob Crow

General Secretary




Thursday, 20 June 2013

Combination of Cleaning Grades-South West Trains







Circular No IR/368/13



To All Branches, Regional Offices & Regional Councils



Our Ref: BR2/10/2

20th June 2013



Dear Colleagues




Further to my previous circular on the above matter dated 17thJanuary 2013 (IR/40/13), I can report that negotiations with South West Trains have been on-going, however very little progress has been made in resolving this matter.


Consequently, the General Grades Committee has instructed me to circulate the minutes from last meeting with company to all Branches along the South West Trains line of route. I would be grateful if affected Branches could provide me with their opinions on how to they would like the union to progress this matter.  


I herewith enclose a copy of the relevant section of the minutes and I would be most grateful if you could bring this matter to the attention of your members. 


Yours sincerely

Bob Crow

General Secretary



New Inflation Rates






Head Office Circular No. NP/156/13


To the Secretary all Branches,

Council of Executive members,

Regional Councils and Regional Offices.


Tuesday 18th June 2013



Dear Colleagues,



New Inflation Rates


The Office for National Statistics has just published new inflation figures for the twelve months to May 2013.


The Retail Prices Index (RPI) stood at 3.1% for the year to May 2013, up 0.2% from the 2.9% figure to April2013.


The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) stood at 2.7% for the year to May 2013, up 0.3% from the 2.4% figure to April2013.


According to the ONS, transport costs (particularly motor fuels and air fares) and clothing/ footwear (especially women’s outdoor clothing) rose. And the cost of food (particularly sugar, jam, syrups, chocolate & confectionery, meat and vegetables) dropped.


RMT pay submissions will continue to emphasise that your financial commitments have increased at a greater rate than official inflation and that your living standards are undermined by this disparity.


Yours sincerely

Bob Crow

General Secretary


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

SWT Pay Ballot Result 2012


Our Ref: BR2/0001/SWT


11TH June 2013


Mr Mick Tosh

Regional Organiser


Dear Mick,


Rates of Pay & Conditions of Service 2013 – South West Trains


Referring to our previous correspondence, the referendum has concluded and the result has been considered by the GGC which has taken the following decision:-


That we note the referendum result is as follows:-


Total Votes Cast


Number Voting ‘Yes’


Number Voting ‘No’


Spoilt Papers



We note the referendum result and accordingly instruct the General Secretary to inform the company of our acceptance of the offer. Relevant Branches and Regional Councils to be informed.”


Yours sincerely

Bob Crow

General Secretary



SWT Pay Agreement 2012


Ms Kelly Barlow

South West Trains

Friars Bridge Court

41-45 Blackfriars Road





Our Ref: BR2/0001/SWT


11TH June 2013


Dear Kelly,


Rates of Pay & Conditions of Service 2012 – South West Trains


I write to advise you that a referendum of our members on the latest pay offer has concluded and I am pleased to inform you that members have voted overwhelmingly to accept it.


I would be most obliged if you could arrange to have the increase and any back monies paid in the next pay packet.


Yours sincerely

Bob Crow

General Secretary



Use of Agency Staff, Booking Office-South West Trains







Circular No IR/345/13


To All Branches, Regional Offices & Regional Councils


Our Ref: BR2/13/1


11th June 2013



Dear Colleague




Further to my Circular No IR/229/13 dated the 17th April 2013 with regards to the above matter, I can now advise you that a meeting has been held with our senior union representatives and the matter has again been subject to recent consideration by the General Grades Committee, their decision is as follows:


“Referring to Decision GWW, 26th March 2013, we note the meeting has now taken place and we further note the latest report from our Lead officer regarding Richmond Ticket Office that can be found on file.


Accordingly, we instruct the General Secretary to ensure the situation at Richmond Ticket Office continues to be monitored and that a report is placed back before us when ‘full’ normal working resumes or by 6th August 2013 whichever is the earliest.


Relevant Branches and Wessex Regional Council to be advised.”


In accordance with the above, I am now acting on the instructions of the GGC decision and I will, of course, keep you fully advised on any further developments.


Best wishes.

Bob Crow

General Secretary


Friday, 31 May 2013

Rates if Pay & Conditions of Service - South West Trains 2013/14


31st May 2013






I appreciate we have not yet settled pay for 12/13 but, I feel we should start the debate and campaign to achieve a more successful pay increase than, the previous couple of years.


As it looks increasingly likely that we will be accepting the 2.5% offer for the latest round, that will mean, members employed by SWT have fell behind the cost of living in real terms by almost 1% in, the last 18 months alone! This is clearly not an acceptable trend, our members deserve better and we need to adopt a more robust stance in dealing with the company.


It is of course difficult to see how we might reverse the apathy currently being experienced amongst our members after some poor ballot results in recent years however, if we do nothing and continue in the present mode of re-acting to the company measures instead of actively pursing improvements for our members we will almost certainly not, get out of the downward spiral.


We see now, far too much fragmentation of the grades over a wide range of issues. This assists the company in managing a downtrodden workforce with little or no expections of achieving real respect and dignity from decent pay and conditions.


In an attempt to get all our members united and on board to achieve an inflation busting rise for 13/14, we need to start the campaign now. This means notice boards full up with flyers about branch meetings to discuss pay, using every opportunity when speaking to members to seek theirs the views on pay and encourage them to spread the word amongst other members. We should produce a number of posters, stickers, flyers etc locally which, carry the message for better pay and conditions in the lead up to the negotiations this autumn. Lets try and get everybody talking about a REAL increase and the need to be prepared to stand and be counted to achieve this.


I am happy to attend your branch meeting's to help build this campaign LETS DO IT!


Please bring this correspondence to the attention of your branch and members.




Mick Tosh

RMT Wessex Regional Organiser