New Shadow Transport Minister

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route:oxford

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These would be far better than having an image of the butcher's apron carried around in a trouser pocket.
Butcher's apron, or muffin top...

Whatever you want to call it - there's no way any politicians over-hanging belly whether Alex Salmonds or otherwise should be on a card in my pocket.
 
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Busaholic

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Just to set the record straight, I am not into flag carrying of any kind, not even the Saltire or St George.

That's why I suggested in my previous post that images of famous landmarks in the cities across the UK would be far better.
Quite agree, even though I was born on St George's Day. All national flags should be abolished, the trouble these emblems of nationhood have caused over the years is beyond belief, and still do in places like Northern Ireland. Just like the IRA armoury, flags should be put 'beyond use.'

That's just put the cat among the pigeons I'd imagine ; lets hope some are doves.
 

yorksrob

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Quite agree, even though I was born on St George's Day. All national flags should be abolished, the trouble these emblems of nationhood have caused over the years is beyond belief, and still do in places like Northern Ireland. Just like the IRA armoury, flags should be put 'beyond use.'

That's just put the cat among the pigeons I'd imagine ; lets hope some are doves.
Possible true. But then again, you could say the same about religion, and I can't see that going anywhere.
 

Rational Plan

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I don't know why the Unions are so keen for nationalisation. The fragmentation of the railway has allowed them to play one company off another. It's estimated that drivers wages are now a third higher than they would have been under BR.

But I suppose there is an ideological commitment to nationalisation and maybe they hanker after the ability to call national strikes against one company. Outside London most strikes don't get much coverage and seem to be a bit patchy.

The recent FGW strike was too bad for me as a passenger, getting back from the Southcoast I was a bit worried but the Virgin cross country was unaffected and I was mentally preparing for a trip from Reading to Windsor via Staines and a cab to Slough, but getting to Reading all I discovered was some branch line services cut back and some consolidated local and express services, so no big deal for most journeys.
 

aformeruser

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I don't know why the Unions are so keen for nationalisation. The fragmentation of the railway has allowed them to play one company off another. It's estimated that drivers wages are now a third higher than they would have been under BR.
At present different operators pay different rates and have different T&Cs. I imagine they hope under nationalisation everyone would get the best deal.

However, after standard T&Cs and pay have been sorted I would imagine it's fixed pay rises at the rate of RPI every year.
 

Rational Plan

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At present different operators pay different rates and have different T&Cs. I imagine they hope under nationalisation everyone would get the best deal.

However, after standard T&Cs and pay have been sorted I would imagine it's fixed pay rises at the rate of RPI every year.
It's these different deals that allow the constant merry go round of wage negotiation and more importantly one companies shortfall in staff require higher wages to get people to jump from on company to another. If there is only one company there is only one person recruiting, with one set of wages.

It is not in their members interests, but I suspect it is in the Unions interests as it makes the Unions threat of strikes more important in wage negotiation with one single company rather than a competitive jobs market pushing wages up.
 

HH

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At present different operators pay different rates and have different T&Cs. I imagine they hope under nationalisation everyone would get the best deal.

However, after standard T&Cs and pay have been sorted I would imagine it's fixed pay rises at the rate of RPI every year.
1. Won't happen because they couldn't afford it; and 2. It will be CPI, unless the government decides to freeze public sector wages again.
 

aformeruser

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It's these different deals that allow the constant merry go round of wage negotiation and more importantly one companies shortfall in staff require higher wages to get people to jump from on company to another. If there is only one company there is only one person recruiting, with one set of wages.
And when operators claim they are paying more than market rate:

RMT said:
RAIL UNION RMT confirmed today that it has declared a formal dispute and has begun preparations for an industrial action ballot of staff working at Northern Rail’s Leeds Customer Relations Department over an outrageous assault on existing terms and conditions.

The company have told the union that they intend to reduce the CO4 grades to CO2 whilst expecting the same if not more work from these staff. Similarly, CO5 grades whilst not being downgraded are expected to take on extra duties with no extra pay.

Northern Rail’s justification for this shock attack on their employees is that market rates for call centre work outside of the rail industry are 40% lower – a pathetic excuse that the union has branded as nothing more than a “ race to the bottom” that will increase the company profits and line the pockets of their shareholders at the workers expense.

In light of all of this the union has demanded the following assurances from the Company:

1. The letter issued confirming that the CO4 Clerical officer role of existing employees will be downgraded to a CO2 to be withdrawn.

2. That the two evaluation processes carried out by a trained manager and then a trained Hay Evaluator will be set aside and for the present time the Customer Relations Officer Grade CO4 posts will remain at CO4.

3. That no changes will be made to the duties of those carrying out Customer Relation Officer roles at CO5.

4. A meeting to be arranged with the affected employees and the union to agree a new evaluation process to consider the CO4 post of Customer Relations Officer.

The company have failed to give those assurances and as result the union has served notice of an industrial action ballot.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“This is an appalling attack on hard working Northern Rail staff which has been justified on the basis that there is a “race to the bottom” for call centre staff that the TOC’s clearly intend to roll out across the rail industry as they look to fatten their profits.

“RMT intends to fight these plans at Northern which we see as the thin end of a very long wedge and which would batter the working conditions and living standards of our members.

“RMT remains available for talks.”
http://www.rmt.org.uk/news/strike-vote-over-northern-rail-leeds-re-organisation/
 

WatcherZero

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Surprised they didn't throw in a demand for a wage rise as well, 40% more than the market rate is clearly not enough. Next franchisee could easily just turn around and outsource the work in a competitive process as happened to cleaners and revenue protection.
 

HH

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This is why almost all call centre work is outsourced already and has been for some time.
Of course the Unions have a duty to fight this tooth and nail on behalf of their members; ergo conflict is sadly inevitable.
 

lazydragon

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Surprised they didn't throw in a demand for a wage rise as well, 40% more than the market rate is clearly not enough. Next franchisee could easily just turn around and outsource the work in a competitive process as happened to cleaners and revenue protection.
I imagine this has something to do with a significant proportion of the call centres being based outside the UK. If the Northern Rail call centres are 40% above where other call centre workers are, then they are earning more than the guard jobs I see going.
 

aformeruser

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I imagine this has something to do with a significant proportion of the call centres being based outside the UK. If the Northern Rail call centres are 40% above where other call centre workers are, then they are earning more than the guard jobs I see going.
Guards earn less than £9.38 an hour?

Also note breaks are unpaid in office environments. If you work 08:30-17:00 with 1 hour lunch, that counts as 7.5 hours not 8.5 hours.
 
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A0wen

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I imagine it would more like Cooperative stores than any proposed small scale transport co-ops which have never started.

Working on the Cooperative store basis:

  • There would be membership card for passengers who get a loyalty bonus depending on how big the profits are and how much they've spent in the last year.
  • Passengers can nominate community projects to benefit from profits from railways.
  • Members can vote on certain issues but issues put forward by the board but there wouldn't be a vote on every issue that any member thinks up. Board members would be elected by members.
If it's run anything like my local Co-op store then that ought to deter anyone from travelling by train.

Poorly stocked, prices usually wrong on the shelf, lengthy queues whilst the local chavs chat to their mates behind the counter whilst buying cheap alcohol and fags. The queues are usually so long that the newspaper you're buying is out of date by the time you get to pay for it :roll:
 

yorksrob

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If it's run anything like my local Co-op store then that ought to deter anyone from travelling by train.

Poorly stocked, prices usually wrong on the shelf, lengthy queues whilst the local chavs chat to their mates behind the counter whilst buying cheap alcohol and fags. The queues are usually so long that the newspaper you're buying is out of date by the time you get to pay for it :roll:
And yet I find that my local Co-op manages to do far better ready meals than any of the big four supermarkets or discounters !
 

HH

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And yet I find that my local Co-op manages to do far better ready meals than any of the big four supermarkets or discounters !
This is a recommendation? Luckily a lot of their fresh produce is also fine. However even to the untutored (retail) eye it's obvious that they are inefficient. Moreover given their recent troubles (and not so recent!) I wouldn't have thought that it was a model that would recommend itself to anyone.

Oddly enough, it seems that our Co-op bank isn't the only one to have scandals.
 

yorksrob

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This is a recommendation? Luckily a lot of their fresh produce is also fine. However even to the untutored (retail) eye it's obvious that they are inefficient. Moreover given their recent troubles (and not so recent!) I wouldn't have thought that it was a model that would recommend itself to anyone.

Oddly enough, it seems that our Co-op bank isn't the only one to have scandals.
Yes it is. I've got better things to do than stand around cooking for hours.

At my local one they generally have someone at the kiosk taking all sales until a few people build up, then they ring a bell and someone from the shop floor opens up a till, which seems a pretty efficient way of dealing with peaks and troughs to me.

And the co-op bank not being the only one to have scandals is hardly news to anyone who hasn't been living on Mars for the past five years!
 

lazydragon

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Guards earn less than £9.38 an hour?

Also note breaks are unpaid in office environments. If you work 08:30-17:00 with 1 hour lunch, that counts as 7.5 hours not 8.5 hours.
I know that new entrants into the company I work for start at around 17k p/y (we have a call centre in Leeds which is on the same band as I am) - I would be very surprised indeed if the Northern Rail call centre was starting people off at around 24k...and if they were why the heck didn't anyone tell me, I'd have taken the move up north for that kind of pay rise. That's around where I've seen the salaries for guards starting.
 

HH

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Yes it is. I've got better things to do than stand around cooking for hours.
There speaks someone who doesn't cook. Your body won't forgive you.

At my local one they generally have someone at the kiosk taking all sales until a few people build up, then they ring a bell and someone from the shop floor opens up a till, which seems a pretty efficient way of dealing with peaks and troughs to me.
To me too. But they don't do it at MY local Co-op. And there's the issue in a nutshell.

And the co-op bank not being the only one to have scandals is hardly news to anyone who hasn't been living on Mars for the past five years!
Surely you were, along with Comrade Corbyn, holding Co-ops up as the answer to all evils?
 

yorksrob

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Surely you were, along with Comrade Corbyn, holding Co-ops up as the answer to all evils?
Makes a change from the Establishment holding up the private sector as the answer to all evils for the past thirty years.
 

Red Dragon

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If it's run anything like my local Co-op store then that ought to deter anyone from travelling by train.

Poorly stocked, prices usually wrong on the shelf, lengthy queues whilst the local chavs chat to their mates ................. :roll:
You might find that someone like Sir John Armitt - HS1 deliverer, Railtrack to Network Rail transformer, Olympics leader, who has been an advisor to the Labour Party in the past, along with a few others, might well be involved in changing the current structure of the railways in the UK.
You'd be surprised who might wish to be involved, and the knowledge, experience and vision they would bring to the table.
 

HowardGWR

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How about something like the John Lewis partnership? That formula seems to motivate staff. A friend of mine worked there many years and was very keen and loyal.
 
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