Union announces 6 strike dates for EMT drivers

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aformeruser

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ASLEF train drivers working for East Midlands Trains have announced strike dates in a row over pensions.

The industrial action follows confirmation by East Midlands Trains that pension contributions for employees will reduce from July.

The train operator said ‘ASLEF’s stance is to maintain the higher pension contribution rates, which would see train drivers paying around £500 a year more than they need to, for no additional benefits’.

Members ‘overwhelmingly’ voted in support of industrial action to ‘protect their pensions’.

76.4% were in favour of action which will take place on 1st, 3rd, 8th, 10th, 15th and 17th May.

East Midlands Trains said it planned to continue running train services for passengers despite the industrial strike action.
David Horne, Managing Director for East Midlands Trains, said:
“Pension contributions made by our employees will reduce from July this year. This is good news for our staff and will have no impact on their pension benefits.

“It follows recommendations from a recent pension valuation, which is an independent financial health check on the scheme. We have written to our employees to explain the forthcoming changes and the background.
“It makes ASLEF’s stance difficult to understand and we are surprised that our train drivers are planning to take industrial action over this matter.”


http://www.rail.co/2012/04/24/east-midlands-trains-drivers-to-strike-over-pensions-row/
 
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tbtc

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The train operator said ‘ASLEF’s stance is to maintain the higher pension contribution rates, which would see train drivers paying around £500 a year more than they need to, for no additional benefits’

Sadly, with life expectancy increasing and minimal growth in financial markets, it is going to cost all of us more and more just to maintain the same level of retirement income.

Those lucky enough to be in Final Salary schemes (a minority) will have to pay in more and work for longer just to retain the same level of benefits at retirement.

Those not in Final Salary schemes will also have to pay in a lot more (and for longer) but without the guarantees
 

swt_passenger

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Sadly, with life expectancy increasing and minimal growth in financial markets, it is going to cost all of us more and more just to maintain the same level of retirement income.

Those lucky enough to be in Final Salary schemes (a minority) will have to pay in more and work for longer just to retain the same level of benefits at retirement.

Those not in Final Salary schemes will also have to pay in a lot more (and for longer) but without the guarantees

Yet the supposed problem is that EMT drivers are being asked to pay in less?
 

tbtc

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The train operator said ‘ASLEF’s stance is to maintain the higher pension contribution rates, which would see train drivers paying around £500 a year more than they need to, for no additional benefits’

Yet the supposed problem is that EMT drivers are being asked to pay in less?

I was just trying to explain that everyone will have to pay in increasing amounts just to get the same level of benefits out that they were promised when they joined a scheme.
 

swt_passenger

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I was just trying to explain that everyone will have to pay in increasing amounts just to get the same level of benefits out that they were promised when they joined a scheme.

Except for EMT drivers, who are being told that they'll get the same benefits by paying less, because their part of the scheme is currently overfunded.
 

ushawk

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http://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk...nservicesdespiteASLEFplannedstrikeaction.aspx

EMT say that it would be £500 less in pension contributions each year. Service planned to run next Tuesday and Thursday is -

London - Derby - Hourly with some extensions to Sheffield calling at all stations
Nottingham - Leicester - to connect to/from London trains
Nottingham - Grantham
Replacement buses between Nottingham and Boston/Lincoln/Mansfield, between Derby and Matlock/Stoke and Crewe and between Lincoln and Sleaford.

Northern, TPE, Virgin, Cross Country, East Coast and FCC will all accept EMT tickets

http://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk...sforpassengersdespitetheindustrialaction.aspx
 

aformeruser

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Northern, TPE, Virgin, Cross Country, East Coast and FCC will all accept EMT tickets

Assuming the passengers can get on the train! Northern and TPE services that run the same or similar routes to Liverpool-Nottingham, in particular, will be crammed.
 

ushawk

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Assuming the passengers can get on the train! Northern and TPE services that run the same or similar routes to Liverpool-Nottingham, in particular, will be crammed.

Do they have any stock lying around on weekdays ? As it might be useful for them if they strengthened services, especially on the Nottingham - Sheffield route.
 

aformeruser

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Do they have any stock lying around on weekdays ? As it might be useful for them if they strengthened services, especially on the Nottingham - Sheffield route.

The answer is no at peak times, Northern could easily make use of more capacity if it was available. Off-peak there are trains out-of-use but Northern are usually very reluctant to make temporary revisions to diagrams or revise maintenance schedules to allow for strengthening.
 
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One would assume EMT have to match the contributions that the drivers put in, therefore reducing their contributions also reduces their own.
 

swt_passenger

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Sure, but this is not unusual is it? It's going on with pension schemes all the time, I've just done a bit of reading up and it seems reasonablyt clear that pensions legislation prevents schemes generating a surplus.

What I'm thinking is that this can't possibly be the first time it has happened, (even if it hasn't happened in a railway scheme before) so why all the problems on this specific occasion?
 

HSTEd

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Except for EMT drivers, who are being told that they'll get the same benefits by paying less, because their part of the scheme is currently overfunded.

Yes, just like all those final salary schemes were overfunded in the 80s and payment holidays were taken.... leading to all those schemes being underfunded and closed in the 90s.
 

exile

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Seems rather a trivial thing to strike over - so can an ASLEF member give us the full story which must be more complex than it's been portrayed here.
 

313103

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My Gosh, i cant beilive what i am reading. Well into the second page of this thread of strikes and Bob Crow has'nt been mentioned yet! Shocked and stuned to say the least!

As for the pension issue LO have done the same thing. The drivers in my company seem to be ok with it. Although i am not happy that the company will be taking a pensions holiday, yes i will save a couple of quid (not enough that will make a difference to my actual take home pay) but saving none the less. I would rather the scheme carries on without change therefore money that has been saved because the fund is overflowing with cash could be used when the fund is paying more out.
 

Ivo

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Seems rather a trivial thing to strike over - so can an ASLEF member give us the full story which must be more complex than it's been portrayed here.

It's not even trivial. It's attention-seeking. And that's coming from one of the forum's most anti-striking members.
 

CosherB

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'Ang on. The driver's pension scheme is overfunded (lucky them - that's very unusual these days). So the drivers and the company will have to put in lower contributions. The pension benefits on retirement remain unchanged.

Can someone please explain why that is grounds for discontent, never mind a strike?
 

Bald Rick

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Well this is what the Association says :

http://www.aslef.org.uk/information/100012/100039/132724/emt_pension_statement_is_misleading/

Strikes me as being motivated by ulterior reasons which are unclear, and possibly nothing to do with the issue. 6 days seems rather a lot, and is a lot of cash for drivers to give up to avoid, err, saving money.

It is certainly, however, another example of individuals listening more to the club they choose to pay for than the organisation who pays them.
 

Class377/5

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Well this is what the Association says :

http://www.aslef.org.uk/information/100012/100039/132724/emt_pension_statement_is_misleading/

Strikes me as being motivated by ulterior reasons which are unclear, and possibly nothing to do with the issue. 6 days seems rather a lot, and is a lot of cash for drivers to give up to avoid, err, saving money.

It is certainly, however, another example of individuals listening more to the club they choose to pay for than the organisation who pays them.

Can you blame them for believing a organisation that supposed to protect them (which they pay for) rather than the company they work for?

Doesn't seem to make much sense this.

**EDIT**

Now I've read the link Rick added, does seem they are looking at the long term and avoid a possible major issue. Fact it saves the company a fair bit doesn't help either.
 
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Bald Rick

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Meanwhile, I don't suppose ASLEF would be praising EMTs MD to the rooftops if he proposed to increase their members contributions to retain current benefits.

Also I don't recall any strikes in BR when dropped contribution rates considerably.

Anyway, as none of us have seen the results of the 3 yearly acturial valuation; nor what the trustees (which must include a union rep) of this pension fund have recommended / agreed, we're all speculating.
 

CosherB

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Well, if what's in that link is the best ASLEF can come up with to support a strike then the moon is made of green cheese.

This is unbelievable. When final salary pension schemes have become non-viable generally (most have closed to new members) to have an over-funded scheme and threaten strike action when contributions have to be reduced is nothing short of mental.

It's a bit like if you were a soldier in WW1 and about to go 'over the top', and a bunch of cossetted guys in another regiment not only are excused that, but are throwing a hissy fit because their champagne fund is being reduced even though it will still provide all the fizz they can drink!

It really is that stupid!
 

Sleepy

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http://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk...nservicesdespiteASLEFplannedstrikeaction.aspx

EMT say that it would be £500 less in pension contributions each year. Service planned to run next Tuesday and Thursday is -

London - Derby - Hourly with some extensions to Sheffield calling at all stations
Nottingham - Leicester - to connect to/from London trains
Nottingham - Grantham
Replacement buses between Nottingham and Boston/Lincoln/Mansfield, between Derby and Matlock/Stoke and Crewe and between Lincoln and Sleaford.

Northern, TPE, Virgin, Cross Country, East Coast and FCC will all accept EMT tickets

http://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk...sforpassengersdespitetheindustrialaction.aspx

........... and as usual as far as EMT are concerned passengers from Norwich to Peterborough can F**k off - as they do not even get a mention and hope they will go away (or get stranded at Ely) !!!
 

Clip

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Whilst its in surplus it seems logical BUT they are right to be thinking about the long term should stocks and shares drop and the value of the pension fund should fall.

Maybe they could off-set it somehow or other? I know I wouldnt be too happy having to pay less given ive probably got a few more decades on the railway as I would imagine it to drop at some point before picking up again. and then having to increase payments to cover it would be a kick in the teeth.

And if that happenned at EMT - they probably wouldnt have the franchise by then anyhow - it would be I told you so and no we dont want to pay more as we said not to reduce the payments.

could be a merry go round
 

tbtc

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........... and as usual as far as EMT are concerned passengers from Norwich to Peterborough can F**k off - as they do not even get a mention and hope they will go away (or get stranded at Ely) !!!

There will be trains running from Norwich to Ely and from Ely to Peterborough though, just by other operators (in the way that other EMT services that run parallel to other TOCs won't be run).

Can't blame EMT for focussing on the "core", given the staffing problems that this strike will no doubt have.

Still, nice to see a strike that isn't conveniently timed around the Olympics (that great excuse for other people to strike)
 
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