Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Stagecoach South Western Trains-Introduction of Pension Auto Enrolment -1st May 2013

My Ref: MRP 1/8/24​ 30th April 2013

​ Circular Num: NP/109 /13
To: The Secretary All Branches & Regional Councils

Dear Colleagues,


In line with Pensions Act 2008 Stagecoach South Western Trains have been given a staging date of 1st May 2013 when they are required to Auto Enrol eligible job holders into a qualifying pension scheme.

Management’s proposal is to enrol eligible employees working for South West Trains (SWT) into the SWT section of the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS) and those eligible employees working for Island Line (IL) into the IL section of the RPS.

The above is with the exception of those new entrants, aged over 65, and casual staff who will be Auto Enrolled into the RPS Industry Wide Defined Contribution Scheme (IWDC).

Those employees who are already receiving RPS benefits but still continue to be employed by either of the two employers mentioned above, regardless whether or not they have reached State Pension Age, will be enrolled into the IWDC arrangement.

Following consultation with RMT representatives the matter has again been subject to recent consideration by the General Grades Committee and their decision is as follows:

“That we note the report from our Regional Organiser and the correspondence from South West Trains, stating that their staging date for the implementation of Auto Enrolment is 1st May 2013.

We further note that all eligible members with Island Line & South West Trains will be Auto Enrolled into their relevant section of the Railways Pension Scheme (RPS).

Therefore and after further consultation with our local representatives, we instruct the General Secretary to inform the company of our acceptance of these latest proposals.

Further we instruct the General Secretary to ask SWT to specify where they employ the casual workers they refer to in their correspondence.

Branches and Wessex Regional Councils 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

Monday, 22 April 2013

Joint Operation-Train Operating Companies & Network Rail

Circular No IR/238/13

To All Branches, Regional Offices & Regional Councils

Our Ref: BR2/15/4
25th April 2013

Dear Colleagues


Further to my circular dated 7th March 2013 (IR/149/13), I can report that a meeting has taken place between representatives of the RMT, South West Trains and Network Rail to discuss the Alliance between SWT and Network Rail on the Wessex Route. This was an informal meeting to share information. This Union was informed that the Alliance had resulted in the employment of extra Controller Grades, more Despatch staff at Clapham Junction, the speeding up of possessions and free travel being granted for staff on the route.

Management has confirmed that they will hold a further meeting once the final ORR determination is received in September 2013.

The General Grades Committee has considered this matter and has taken the following decision:

“That we note the correspondence from Network Rail regarding the meeting that took place to discuss the Wessex Alliance, covering South West Trains and Network Rail.

We note that a further meeting is planned and following the said meeting, a full written report and copy of minutes is to be placed before us.

Branches and Regional Councils to be advised.”

I shall continue to keep you advised of all further developments.

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow
General Secretary

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

New Inflation Rates

Head Office Circular No. NP/95/13

To the Secretary all Branches,
Council of Executive members,
Regional Councils and Regional Offices.

Tuesday 16th April 2013

Dear Colleagues,

New Inflation Rates

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

The Retail Prices Index (RPI) stood at 3.3% for the year to March 2013, up 0.1% from the 3.2% figure to February 2013.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) stood at 2.8% for the year to March 2013, unchanged from the 2.8% figure to February 2013.

According to the ONS, audio-visual equipment and books, as well as newspapers and stationery costs were up the most. The cost of furniture and furnishings, motor fuels and meat were down.

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

Friday, 12 April 2013

Press Release

Transport union RMT announced today that it is backing a “Bury Thatcherism – Join a Union” initiative which will officially launch next Wednesday, the day of the former Prime Ministers funeral.

The initiative is designed to use the frenzy and polarisation that has developed since Margaret Thatcher’s death to encourage the angry and disaffected to do something positive on Wednesday, that is join a trade union and if you are already a union member encourage others to join and get involved.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“Since Margaret Thatcher died there has been an endless parade of Tory MP’s and right-wing commentators across our TV screens mouthing off about how, with the support of the full apparatus of the state, her Government set out to destroy the trade union movement with the intention of weakening working class strength and giving the boss class a clear run.

“Successive waves of anti-union laws were bulldozed through aimed at shackling the union’s and turning working people into serfs while business and the bankers were de-regulated and given the green light to destroy the British economy culminating in the collapse of the banks in 2008. Those responsible for driving the economy over the cliff are still soaking up double-digit pay and bonus increases while working people, boxed in with Thatcher’s anti-union laws, are left struggling to survive in a climate of attacks on public services, jobs, the welfare state and pay and working conditions. That is Margaret Thatcher’s legacy today.

“So on Wednesday, while millions of pounds of public money that could go on schools on hospitals is blown on a nationalised, state funeral for Mrs Thatcher, those feeling angry and ignored can do something positive – join a union and encourage those around you to join to.

“Margaret Thatcher, and the class interests she represented, hated trade unions for one very good reason – the organised working class, against a backdrop of a Labour Party bought and sold by Thatcherism, is the only effective point of resistance to greed, exploitation and corruption. That’s why she sought to destroy us and that’s why her legacy has to be a resurgent trade union movement prepared to pick up the cudgels and turn back the tide.”

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Election Results

11th April 2013
Circular No. MF/37/13

To: All Branches & Regional Councils

Dear Colleague


Period of Office – 2nd June 2013 to 1st June 2018

With reference to the above, the following has been elected unopposed:

• Steve Todd (Glasgow Shipping)

September 8th to 11th (Bournemouth)

With reference to the above, the following have been elected:

• David O’ Donnell (Fife & District, General Grades Region 1)
• Mansur Khan (Leeds City, General Grades Region 2)
• Keith Simpson (Chester, General Grades Region 3)
• Ruth Strong (East Midland Central, General Grades Region 4)
• Alex Gordon (Bristol, General Grades Region 5)
• Jared Wood (Neasden, General Grades Region 6)
• Willie Shearer (Dover Shipping, Shipping & Offshore Delegate)
• Deborah Rios Alonso (Waterloo, Female Delegate)
• Glenroy Watson (Finsbury Park, Black & Ethnic Minority Delegate)

July 2nd to 4th (Belfast)

With reference to the above, the following has been elected unopposed:

• Declan Roche (Eire Shipping Branch)

April 16th to 18th (Perth)

With reference to the above, the following has been elected unopposed as a replacement for Jamie Shaw, who had withdrawn from the delegation:

• David Douglas (Aberdeen Shipping Branch)

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow
General Secretary

Disciplinary Procedures - Social Networking Sites

Circular No: IR/215/13
Our Ref: B/4/4

11 April 2013

To: Branches, Regional Councils & Regional Offices

Dear colleague


I write further to my previous circular on the above matter (Ref: IR/051/13, 17th January 2013) in which I requested examples of where members had been disciplined following complaints made about them on social networking sites.

While no responses were received, the General Grades Committee took a recent decision to remain vigilant on this matter as it is clear that social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be dangerous tools for companies to be used against our members.

I would therefore ask members to continue to be wary with regards to this matter and report any abuses which arise.

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow
General Secretary

British Transport Police-Liaison Meeting

Our Ref: HSS/2/2
Head Office Circular: NP/081/13
09th April 2013
To: The Secretary

Dear Colleague,


You may be aware that last year your union re-established liaison meetings with the British Transport Police where we discuss issues arising from our work in the railway industry. Previous items raised have been the English Defence League and policing the Olympics.

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 14th May at their Camden Headquarters. This circular is seeking ideas on what you would like to be raised at this meeting. For the previous minutes please see the RMT website under the Health & Safety pages. Issues should be of a national interest.

Please forward any items you wish to be raised by 03rd May 2013 to s.mackay@rmt.org.uk or send into the health & safety section at head office.

I look forward to hearing from you in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Bob Crow
General Secretary

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Lone Working - Responsibility for Passenger Safety

To All Branches, Regional Offices & Regional Councils

Circular No IR.209/13

Our Ref: BR2/14/2
11th April 2013

Dear Colleagues,

Lone Working – Responsibility for Passenger Safety

In my Circular IR.01/13 dated 3rd January I advised you that the following resolution was carried at the 2012 National Conference of Station and Associated Grades:-

“We are concerned after a recent Bomb evacuation that staff working alone are totally responsible for the safety of passengers. As always, information regarding the situation is not forthcoming. Not everybody has blackberries and access to office equipment may not be available, either because as lone working it is not possible to leave the platform or the office area has been cordoned off. In a situation like this, it is very distressing and confusing for all. What has become of the CAT teams that were set up and paid to train to assist colleagues in time of severe disruption? We feel not enough support is given to our staff who are left alone in these stressful situations.”

The General Grades Committee instructed me to write to the Train Operating Companies and raise this issue with them, and to ask what facilities staff have, and what their primary and secondary plans are, to support our members in times of disruption.

Replies were received from London Underground, First Transpennine Express, Greater Anglia and South West Trains all of whom maintain they have sufficient procedures in place with regard to lone working. However, the General Grades Committee note that they are vague in details and that other Train Operating Companies have yet to respond.

I have, therefore, asked all the Regional Organisers to raise this matter at Company Council level and have also asked them to reiterate that this union’s policy is to oppose lone working. I have asked them for a detailed report on the companies’ procedure with regard to lone working in times of disruption; once these are received they will be placed back before the General Grades Committee for further consideration.

I will, of course, keep you advised of developments.

Yours sincerely,

Bob Crow
General Secretary

Saturday, 6 April 2013

SWT 2012 Pay Talks Update

To update you further in light of the October 2012 Pay Anniversary pay talks, in that the RMT have advised the Company that the present pay offer does not meet the aspirations if this Union.

A further meeting has been arranged for the 12th April 2013 to have further talks with the Company on this, your negotiators attending this meeting are as below:

Regional Organiser

Mick Tosh

Company Council Reps

Rickey Goodman
Geoff Kite
Michael Campbell

We will keep you updated on this after the meeting has taken place.

We appreciate that this has taken a while to resolve, but is important that we continue to negotiate with the company to get the right deal and offer for the members.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Changes to Injury Applications for Assistance

Circular No: NP/029/13

Our ref: LA/019/12

30th January 2013


Dear Colleague,

Changes to Personal Injury Applications for Assistance.

I am pleased to advise that we have been able to agree with Thompsons that our arrangements with them regarding wills, and advices shall continue but due to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, we will need to change our system of referrals for personal injury cases as it is a legal requirement that members access the RMT legal service for personal injury cases by instructing RMT Solicitors, Thompsons, direct. This can be done by members ringing 08457 125 495 or by sending an RMT Legal Assistance Form L1 to TUCH Arundel House 1 Furnival Square Sheffield S1 4QL. Where a member contacts the branch with the form, the branch should ensure the member sends it direct to Thompsons at the above address or rings the claim through on 08457 125 495 (no paper work required). As at present, the branch can of course keep a copy of the form L1 for their own records.

This only affects members in England and Wales.

I will keep you informed of further developments in this matter and I would be grateful if you could bring the contents of this circular to the attention of your members and implement the changes with immediate effect.

Yours sincerely

Bob Crow
General Secretary