RMT argument to protect the role of guard

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railuserhudds

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I've read a number of posts on here relating to guards and driver only operation and thought some of you might not be aware of a RMT piece from a while back. One of the guards quoted is Alex Holden who some of you may be aware has since died.

RMT said:
Train operating companies that have not yet conceded a 35-hour week should be given a year to comply, delegates agreed.

It was time for action to get 35 hours in place everywhere as a crucial step towards the goal of a 32-hour week, said conductor Steve O’Connor, Bletchley and Northampton.

Conditions must not be sacrificed for a shorter working week, delegates emphasised – not least when the ‘shorter week’ on offer was a longer
week in disguise.

Sue Elliot, Wimbledon, recalled the recent attempt by South West Trains to offer a ‘shorter’ week that would have cost a year’s pay rise, five days’
leave, booking-off time and special Sunday leave – and would have left staff working longer hours.

With the strong support of the union, that ‘offer’ had been rejected by a ten-to-one margin, noted Sue Tony Gulley, Bristol Rail was glad that the SWT offer had been beaten: “It’s restructuring through the back door,” he said. “We won’t achieve a shorter working week on a ‘cost-neutral’ basis, we need to fight for it as a right,” said driver Steve Scoffins, Leeds City.

The guard’s safety role must come before revenue duties, delegates agreed.
Northern Rail’s policy of allowing managers to place warnings for poor revenue
collection on individual guards’ records, despite accepting that revenue was secondary to safety, was condemned.

Conference urged the executive to ensure that no agreements were put in place that changed operational procedures to satisfy revenue demands.

“Northern are trying to get guards to ignore the rule book to maximise revenue, and we need to say no to any erosion of safety standards for commercial reasons,” said Alex Holden, Manchester Victoria.
“The pressure on conductors is to put revenue first, and if the companies aren’t prepared to put safety first, this union is,” said Craig Johnston, Carlisle
City.

New trains being ordered in the biggest procurement exercise for years must be configured to protect the guard’s operational safety role, said EC rep Alex
Gordon.

Staff travel should be negotiated back for all staff, delegates
agreed.

Staff travel was under attack from privateers for whom profit
always came first, and conference called for operators to be warned that the union would “use all means necessary” to secure it.
“This is about getting back to safeguarded passes for all, not the three-tier system we have at the moment” said Darren Ireland Liverpool 5.
“It is the staff who have kept the industry going, and it is an insult we don’t have passes, not just for all staff, but for our families as well,” said Steve
Skelly, Bridgend and Llantrisant.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Just to add my view:

If train crews want a shorter working week then that's absolutely fine in my opinion. However, the problem is if they want a shorter working week for the same amount of pay and holidays and to still expect pay rises in future years. The operators then won't want to employ extra staff and it will lead to more cancellations, possibly of more managers acting as conductors and a greater risk of trains going over to DOO - something the unions don't want.

An 8.5% cut in working hours would under normal circumstances result in a 8.5% pay cut and the saved money could be used to bring in extra employees. In the current economic climate bringing in extra employees would be excellent and having more people in employment could see passenger numbers rise and further additional employees and larger pay rises. South West Trains offering shorter working hours without cutting pay but freezing pay for future years sounds like a very good alternative to a pay cut, but adding a lot of other extra conditions changes that.

I'm surprised at the comments about Northern not putting safety first. They have conductors on all services and the conductors sometimes complain about having to do things like opening doors from the back and having to wait until the train has cleared the platform before they can return to the cab or continue checking tickets. Although, not having a 'second conductor' on doubled up services without a through corridor connection effectively gives the impression to half the passengers that there is no conductor on board.
 
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Schnellzug

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if “Northern are trying to get guards to ignore the rule book to maximise revenue” said Alex Holden, Manchester Victoria, could someone privide some examples of this, i wonder? Other companies seem to manage to check Tickets without, apparently, compromising safety.
 

tbtc

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New trains being ordered in the biggest procurement exercise for years must be configured to protect the guard’s operational safety role, said EC rep Alex
Gordon
I bet a generation ago his predecessors were arguing that new trains must be configured to protect the fireman's role too...

Staff travel was under attack from privateers for whom profit always came first, and conference called for operators to be warned that the union would “use all means necessary” to secure it.

“This is about getting back to safeguarded passes for all, not the three-tier system we have at the moment” said Darren Ireland Liverpool 5.

“It is the staff who have kept the industry going, and it is an insult we don’t have passes, not just for all staff, but for our families as well,” said Steve
Skelly, Bridgend and Llantrisant
So, unrestricted free travel for *all* staff and their families, and a thirty two hour working week, a final salary pension, various other perks, no obligation to work Sundays and...

...nice work if you can get it, of course, the Unions are certainly looking after their middle class members.
 

ANorthernGuard

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*Yawn

let the usual staff bashing nonsense begin

and people wonder why staff just don't bother trying to help with queries on here anymore!
 

Electrostar

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In the Great Anglia thread there's been mention of how pay and conditions between the three former franchises (WAGN, Anglia, Great Eastern) differ and are unlikely to be resolved. It got me thinking. Did this come about through privatisation or were there differences back in the BR days? Did BR have London-waiting allowance and regional differences? How did pay change after the big four were nationalised? Did 80s sectorisation change things?
 

aformeruser

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So, unrestricted free travel for *all* staff and their families
What's the actual policy on staff travel now? In a privatised industry should there be any benefits for Arriva workers using First services? I'm sure supermarket workers at the likes of Waitrose and Booths would like discounts at cheaper supermarkets like Tesco and Asda as a staff incentive.
 

Mutant Lemming

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Divide and Rule - that's how those in power who want to remain so have been operating since the Roman Empire and before. Create division among the oiks and get them to turn on themselves while we continue to do whatever we please.
Shame on people for wanting more out of their existence on the planet than to be beholding to the good grace of a minimum wage employer.
 

tbtc

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Divide and Rule - that's how those in power who want to remain so have been operating since the Roman Empire and before. Create division among the oiks and get them to turn on themselves while we continue to do whatever we please.
Shame on people for wanting more out of their existence on the planet than to be beholding to the good grace of a minimum wage employer.
You sound like you are talking about Minimum Wage/ Workfare employees, not people on £25,000 - £35,000 with perks/ pensions who think that their 35 hour week is too long and so want a 32 hour one.
 

pr6

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I bet a generation ago his predecessors were arguing that new trains must be configured to protect the fireman's role too...



So, unrestricted free travel for *all* staff and their families, and a thirty two hour working week, a final salary pension, various other perks, no obligation to work Sundays and...

...nice work if you can get it, of course, the Unions are certainly looking after their middle class members.
plenty of vacancies going around, why don't you apply?
 

Ferret

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*Yawn

let the usual staff bashing nonsense begin

and people wonder why staff just don't bother trying to help with queries on here anymore!
That said - 32 hour week?! Is that realistic? Really?! I'm not even sure I'd want that - 35 hours Mon-Sat suits me just fine. Sundays as and when of course.

Sure, I'd like to see better staff travel facilities, but I just don't see any TOC agreeing to a 32 hour week.
 

MarkyMarkD

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I'm not a union member, but obviously unions are quite right to be seeking the best possible terms of employment for their members.

Having said that, it is something of a distraction from totally reasonable emphasis on allowing guards to perform essentially safety tasks, to start suggesting a totally unreasonable 32 hour working week which is lower than almost any other group of employees in the UK.

As the railways' costs are essentially taxpayer underwritten, any improvement in conditions for railway employees is likely to come out of the public purse and given the state of the economy, that means coming out of other taxpayers' pockets.

My employer hasn't paid any pay rises for 3 years, and we've had no other improvements in benefits either. Nor do we get any staff discounts such as free travel!
 

Mutant Lemming

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You sound like you are talking about Minimum Wage/ Workfare employees, not people on £25,000 - £35,000 with perks/ pensions who think that their 35 hour week is too long and so want a 32 hour one.
Negotiation is like haggling in the Souk - both sides start off with a ridiculous demands and end up meeting somewhere in the middle it's not about people on £25,000 - £35,000 with perks/ pensions who think that their 35 hour week is too long and so want a 32 hour one but the pro management press jumping on those extremes to try and sway the fickle populace to focus on "greedy" working class people rather than ultra greedy people (their friends basically) further up the 'food chain'.
 

Minilad

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Lets all hurry along on the race to the bottom eh. The Gov'mint will love you for it. And so will your bosses. More profit for "The Man"
Why do people get so worked up about workers in the Rail Industry trying to protect their livelihood.
 

button_boxer

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Wanting a"shorter working week" doesn't necessarily mean wanting to work fewer hours, often it's a case of wanting to work at least as many hours as before but to have more of those hours paid at overtime rates rather than basic pay and with the option of choosing not to work them on a given week if necessary...
 

aformeruser

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Why do people get so worked up about workers in the Rail Industry trying to protect their livelihood.
You'll find it's just the same with BBC employees. It's the general public who are funding the salaries and perks of employees so they are unhappy when the salaries and perks they are helping to fund are much better than their own.
 

island

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I used to be a union rep (at a white-collar employer) and it was our job to lodge claims like this. If we didn't, we would quite properly be ousted in the annual elections. As Mutant_Lemming states, you have to aim high, because you will be bargained down.

We won a cracking redundancy deal for staff at a big restructuring (7.5 weeks' pay per year of service and a retraining allowance of up to 12K) because completing the restructuring was worth a billion or so to the company. The TOCs are making more than enough money so it's right that the staff who make it all happen be able to share in it.

The current general shortage of jobs is giving the powers-that-be more ammunition to stuff the workers, and where they have the power and leverage to fight back, I don't think the amount of public ennui about it is fair.
 

tbtc

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Negotiation is like haggling in the Souk - both sides start off with a ridiculous demands and end up meeting somewhere in the middle it's not about people on £25,000 - £35,000 with perks/ pensions who think that their 35 hour week is too long and so want a 32 hour one but the pro management press jumping on those extremes to try and sway the fickle populace to focus on "greedy" working class people rather than ultra greedy people (their friends basically) further up the 'food chain'.
I'd suggest that in 2012 Drivers and Guards are white collar middle class employees. All the "working class" rhetoric seems to miss the point.

There are serious points about staffing roles to be made, but starting out by asking for a 32 hour week guarantees that these will be ignored. It seems a really strange tactic to me.

Why do people get so worked up about workers in the Rail Industry trying to protect their livelihood.
We are paying more and more in Government subsidy, our fares are going up by more than inflation (at a time when most wages are falling in real terms), our railway is significantly more expensive than other European countries.

I'm not a fan of the ROSCOS, I'm not a fan of the layers of bureaucracy higher up the food chain, and I find it hard to sympathise with "a crucial step towards the goal of a 32-hour week".

There's "protecting livelihood" and there's unjustifiable demands, sorry.
 

2Dogbox

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...nice work if you can get it, of course, the Unions are certainly looking after their middle class members.
I'm sure you would therefore be happy if everyone in employment was on minimum wage and working 50 hour weeks. It may appear to be ok to moan about unions and I'm not saying they get everything right by any means but they are vital to keep the companies in check.

It is good to see that RMT fight for the roles of guards and ticket office staff. If the RMT weren't there, companies like stagecoach and arriva would probably be happy to see guards on minimum wage doing split shifts. In times of the governments acceptance of the McNaulty report we need strong unions more than ever. Not just to look after the interests of staff but to make sure passengers see any staff on the network at all!
 

Legzr1

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*Yawn

let the usual staff bashing nonsense begin

and people wonder why staff just don't bother trying to help with queries on here anymore!
It has been quiet for a while so I suppose it had to start all over again fairly soon.

How dare Union members try and better themselves (and their T&C's)?

The "I have nowt and so [sic] should you" brigade will being getting very vocal,very soon methinks.

A 32 hour working week is an aspiration.
Nothing more,nothing less.

However,a 40 hour week with hours of 0900-1700 is,quite literally,childsplay.

A 35 hour week (hopefully for RMT members reducing to 32) starting at 02.24 is something else altogether.

I suspect those who disagree have only ever known of one '3 o'clock' per day and have no understanding whatsoever.

I reckon that won't stop the usual garbage though.



Spout on, enthusiasts...
 

aformeruser

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However,a 40 hour week with hours of 0900-1700 is,quite literally,childsplay.
Office jobs have lunch excluded from the working hours so a 40 hour working week is something like 08:30-17:30 with one hour unpaid lunch. Very few office jobs are still 9-5, most now start at 8.30 or finish at 5.30. Generally the shorter the working day is the shorter the lunch break is.

And anyone who has worked for a marketing agency will tell you that occasional 12 hour days are not uncommon and with most you're unlikely to get extra pay for that but just some time back when the company is less busy - possibly months later.

Nurses who do night shifts generally do up to 14 hour shifts with breaks, giving 36-38 hour working weeks.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The TOCs are making more than enough money
They are also taking more than enough money. If the government gave supermarkets £1 for every loaf of bread they sold and the supermarkets put up the price of bread to £5 a loaf, would it be OK for the supermarkets to use some of the extra money to put up salaries?

so it's right that the staff who make it all happen be able to share in it.
While poor customer services could put passengers off travelling, isn't extra passengers more down to the staff involved in logistics and planning opposed to the staff involved in the day to day operation? You could have the world's best conductor on a poorly timed service and hardly anyone would use it.
 
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Legzr1

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Office jobs have lunch excluded from the working hours so a 40 hour working week is something like 08:30-17:30 with one hour unpaid lunch. Very few office jobs are still 9-5, most now start at 8.30 or finish at 5.30. Generally the shorter the working day is the shorter the lunch break is.

And anyone who has worked for a marketing agency will tell you that occasional 12 hour days are not uncommon and with most you're unlikely to get extra pay for that but just some time back if and when the company is less busy.
Perhaps you're under the impression that all RMT members are paid for 'lunch breaks'?

Maybe you don't know about the freight industry and 'annualised hours'?

I suspect you have no idea of what it's like to take an unpaid 'lunch break' at 03:45, 9 hours after taking duty (with 3 hours to go) and all for zero overtime because of annualised hours.

I'm not saying working in 'marketing' is easy but starting at 08:30,mon-fri isn't exactly soul-destroying and anti-social is it?

These facts will not help anyone who thinks Guards/Drivers/Fitters/whoever have it easy and therefore are normally glossed over or totally ignored.

That's a shame.

I'm not out to convince anyone of anything - what I am after is a little understanding.

Look past the headlines of the gutter press (and certain members who seem to constantly need to undermine the railway workers lot) and think for yourself.

Please.
 

Legzr1

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Nurses who do night shifts generally do up to 14 hour shifts with breaks, giving 36-38 hour working weeks.
Oh,a sneaky little addition to your edit...

Good on the nurses,they deserve everything they get (and more).

However,your comparison is poor at best (I have immediate family working in the health services).

I'm all for nurses (and others naturally) trying to improve their T&C's.

But,would you go onto a 'nurses website' and chastise them for wanting something better for themselves by giving examples of those working in private healthcare,NO breaks,95 hour weeks and all on minimum wage?

I'd hope not.

I'd hope you'd back those on crap conditions in their struggle for a better life.
 

185

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I'm all for TOO

Traincrew-Only-Operation. Remove all the deadlegs who claim to 'run' the system and get paid anything between £50,000 and £477,000 (Transpennine Express MD) and just leave it to the people who actually count.

A cheaper railway! :)
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*runs for cover*
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Shame on people for wanting more out of their existence on the planet than to be beholding to the good grace of a minimum wage employer.
As this thread that seems quote internal rail union historical matters caught my eye and not ever have been connected with employment in the railway industry before retirement, can I ask which is the current TOC "minimum wage employer" to whom you refer? Is this rate of pay applicable to certain types of duties ?
 

aformeruser

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I'd hope you'd back those on crap conditions in their struggle for a better life.
I certainly do. In my opinion crap pay is under £15,000 per annum (based on North West living expenses) and a lot of people on crap pay are paying a lot for public transport - buses as well as rail.

Crap working hours depends on your circumstances. Some people adjust better to working overnight shifts than others. If you have a partner who frequently works nights then being able to work nights might be an advantage for you.
 

Smudger105e

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Guys (and gals?)

The point of this thread was not arguing about the pay scales and working hours of the NHS, surely?

I used to be on the Engineering Company Council for a FOC, and Island has it right. If we went to the Company Directors at pay negotiations and said inflation is at 3%, so we want 3% pay increase across the board, the Company would negotiate us down from there, likewise is the Company said "all we can afford is 1%", we would argue that figure up.

The Trade Unions are there to look after their members' interests and improve their pay, terms and conditions where possible.

Just because the unions might ask for the world, does not mean they are going to get it.


On an aside, I am fortunate enough to be a holder of safeguarded travel facilities. If I was not, and I worked for a Company such as DBS, would I get free travel on Arriva 'bus and train services?
 
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