East London Rail Branch News                 Vol II, Issue 2           Late September 2009  0626 East London Rail  Branc h...
East London Rail Branch News                          Vol II, Issue 2               Late September 2009  WHICH BADGE WOULD...
East London Rail Branch News                             Vol II, Issue 2          Late September 2009                     ...
East London Rail Branch News                        Vol II, Issue 2              Late September 2009                      ...
East London Rail Branch News                        Vol II, Issue 2             Late September 2009The worker and the comp...
East London Rail Branch News                          Vol II, Issue 2               Late September 2009                   ...
East London Rail Branch News                             Vol II, Issue 2            Late September 2009                   ...
East London Rail Branch News       Vol II, Issue 2    Late September 2009             VOTE DERRICK MARR               FOR ...
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Newsletter: Late September, 2009

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Newsletter: Late September, 2009

  1. 1. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 2 Late September 2009 0626 East London Rail Branc h Ne w s Email: eastlondonrail@rmt.org.uk Chair: John Clarke– 07795237318 Secretary: Ed Shine– 07940340128 National Union of Rail, Maritime, & Transport Workers’ GENERAL SECRETARY: Bob Crow OUR REGIONAL ORGANISER, BOB RAYNER’S VIEWS ON N.X.E.A. REVENUE PROTECTION MANAGEMENT:‘RENEGADE MANAGEMENT’ THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES MEDICAL CERTIFICATES BEING REQUIRED AFTER TWO DAYS’ SICKNESS- Even though accepted procedure is perfectly clear on the need to provide a cer- tificate after SIX days’ absence and that self-certification is the norm up to that point. Which is the point of a ‘Return to Work’ interview! INVESTIGATIONS AND ‘FORM ONE’ DISCIPLINARIES TAKING UP TO FOUR MONTHS TO DEAL WITH– when the disciplinary procedure is clear- ‘the employee will be informed in writing, as early as possible, of the nature of the offence’ and that ‘the hearing should be arranged with the minimum possible delay’. MEMBERS BEING PLACED ON MFA FOR BEING OFF SICK AFTER BEING AS- SAULTED AND SUFFERING WORK-PLACE INDUSTRIAL INJURIES– when THEIR OWN MfA Guide for managers states: ‘ensure absence receives the appropriate mixture of concern and consideration for the employee’s welfare’. ANNUAL LEAVE REQUESTS BEING MADE TO BE PUT IN ‘SEVEN DAYS BEFORE THE ROSTER IS PUBLISHED’- so up to TWO WEEKS before the leave date! Again, the established procedure is clear that seven days notice is required. Obviously the Roster Administrator has been given far too much for one person to do; and on top of this, the same applies to shift change-overs! Which is bizarre as staff do NOT KNOW they need to change UNTIL the roster is published! NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2009, 1700 HOURS: 1 The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  2. 2. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 2 Late September 2009 WHICH BADGE WOULD YOU PREFER TO WEAR? LEARN THE LESSONS OF THE PAST... ALWAYS VOTE ‘YES’! The Secretary presented Notification from Head Office that all NXEA relevant correspondence re- members who struck for all three days in the ceived by the branch over recent dispute would receive a gratis payment the last month. Including: of £75. Secretary to receive names and assess claims following discussion with local Rep’s Report on the Vestas dispute on and activists. Needless to say, it can and should the Isle of Wight; an appeal for dona- be taken as read that anyone who worked on tions has been received from Head Office (15-09- even one of the three strike days will not be 09) and it was agreed to donate £50 to the workers De- eligible for this money. fence Fund from Branch funds. Proposed: E. Shine; Seconded: A. RandallAn appeal for donations has been received (19-08-09) fromPortsmouth Branch regarding the case of Bro. EdwardNdlovu (Network Rail). It was agreed to donate £50 from Sister Watson updated the Branch on theBranch funds on the proviso that the Secretary confirms continuing success and interest in the role ofwith the General Secretary that this is a legitimate Branch Union Learning.expenditure. It was asked whether there is a limit to theProposed: A. Randall; Seconded: R. Watson number of members dealt with by one Union Learning Rep, it was suggested that the rec-Instruction from the General Secretary for all Branches to ommended limit is one ULR per 50 members.affiliate to their local Trades Council; Secretary to contact Secretary to confirm this or otherwise withthe Newham Trades Council (Mr. Peter Smith) to facilitate Head Office. Secretary to email Sis. Watsonthis and confirm costs, number of delegates etc. with updated LOROL membership list includ- ing grades, locations, Branch, and contactConfirmation from the General Secretary that our nomina- details.tion of Bro. Brian Whitehead for the position of Relief There will be a day course at the Norfolk &Regional Organiser (South) has been accepted. Suffolk Learning Centre in Norwich on the 20th November 2009 and it was agreed to The trial of meeting on the third Tuesday pay the Union Learning Rep £50 as per (rather than the Thursday) of the month Branch procedure towards travelling ex- was agreed to be a appear to be a success, penses in order to allow her to attend and and that this would be a permanent change. report back to the Branch. NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2009, 1700 HOURS: 2 The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  3. 3. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 2 Late September 2009 THOUGHTThe Chair invited speakers from the floor, to discuss the let- FOR THE MOMENTters of nomination received by the Branch regarding the Un-ions next President. The Secretary noted that as all we had ‘The reason for the defeat of theto go on were the candidates’ personal letters to the Branch Spanish Government was not in(see Item 4. Secretary’s Report), and as they are ALL experi- the hearts and minds of the Span-enced negotiators and Union Officials, the Branch would ish people. They had a few briefhave to differentiate between them. There are what may be weeks of democracy with atermed two ‘centre’ candidates and three ‘left wing’ candi- glimpse of all that it might meandates (which does pigeon-hole political positions too much for the country they loved. Thebut is an easier point of reference). It was noted that our sis- disaster came because the Greatter Branch, South East Essex, the Secretary of which, Bro. Powers of the West preferred toDerrick Marr was in attendance as a guest, has nominated see in Spain a dictatorial Govern-Bro. Gordon although pointed out that that was irrelevant to ment of the right rather than a le-this Branch. It was heard that the Candidate’s own nominat- gally elected body chosen by theing Branch, Bristol Rail, is a very active, militant, and left- people.’wing branch (with which East London Rail Branch alreadyhas a very sympathetic and mutually supportive relationshipwith), with an excellent website and communication. It wasnoted from the floor that personalities should be irrelevantin this discussion. All five candidates’ letters were then circu-lated to the Branch, which Bro. Randall proceeded to readout slowly, carefully, verbatim and in great detail. It was established after discussion that Bros. Pinkney Emanuel ‘Manny’ Shinwell BROTHER PETER PINKNEY and Gordon were (1884-1984) (TEESSIDE BRANCH)- the potential pre- Proposed: A. Randall. ferred candidates Trade Unionist Organiser, Socialist TWO VOTES. for the Branch. MP, International campaigner and The Secretary confronter of State Oppression . BROTHER ALEX GORDON made it clear that (BRISTOL RAIL BRANCH)- both these comrades were worthy of Proposed: L. Simpson the post and worthy of opposing one TWO VOTES. another for the most important post There being a tie, on the in this Trade Union, and both easily Chair’s casting vote: capable of leading us through he class struggles we will face. Compared to this, one candidate was so roundly condemned from the floor, that if we printed what was said, we would be shut down as an obscene publication! ALEX GORDON– OUR PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2009, 1700 HOURS: 3 The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  4. 4. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 2 Late September 2009 IMPORTANT NOTICE– ALL MEMBERS It has come to the Branch’s attention that (particularly on NXEA and Network Rail, but other Companies covered by this Branch may do the same) members are facing increased difficulty in getting the staff representative of their choice when they need it. For any hearing or interview at which you are entitled to Representation, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY YOUR CHOICE OF REP! But it seems some of our employers are still placing artificial and potentially ille- gal obstacles in members’ ways. BELOW IS SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON YOUR RIGHTS. REMEMBER THAT MOST OF OUR ‘MANAGERS’ DON’T KNOW OUR RIGHTS EITHER....! Under section 10 of the Employment Relations Act 1999 (ERA 99), as amended by the ERA 2004, a worker who is required or invited by an employer to attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing has the right to bring a companion. The companion is cho- sen by the worker. This can be a full time Union Official (e.g., your Regional Organiser or member of the Union’s Executive Committee), a certified Lay Official (somebody the Union has trained to accom- pany individuals to hearings) or a workplace col- league. A grievance hearing has to concern ‘the perform- ance of a duty by an employer in relation to aTo qualify as a disciplinary hearing, the meeting has worker’.to be one that could result in a warning or some At the hearing, the Rep has the right to put theother action, provided that this is held on the em- worker’s case, confer with the worker, sum up theployee’s file and represents a stage in a disciplinary case and respond on the worker’s behalf to anyprocedure. This legal definition was established at an views expressed by the hearing officer (as in a dis-Employment Appeal Tribunal in 2003 (London Un- ciplinary), but the Rep cannot answer any directderground v. Ferenc-Batchelor EAT/1039/01/PRW questions put, on behalf of the member. IF A[2003] IRLR 252). Whether the meeting is a discipli- WORKER’S CHOSEN COMPANION IS NOTnary hearing (as opposed to, for example, an investi- AVAILABLE ON THE DATE FIXED FOR THEgation meeting) depends on what happens at the HEARING, IT MUST BE POSTPONED, PRO-meeting and not what the employer calls it; if it VIDED THE NEW DATE IS REASONABLE ANDbecomes clear during the course of an ’investigation’ WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF THE ORIGINAL HEAR-that some form of disciplinary action is being consid- ING. These rights are regardless of length ofered, the worker can (and should) ask for the meeting service.to be adjourned (Skiggs v. South West Trains LtdEAT/0763/03 ([2005] IRLR 459)). NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 15TH SEPTEMBER 2009, 1700 HOURS: 4 The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  5. 5. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 2 Late September 2009The worker and the companion have protectionagainst any detrimental act or dismissal in connec-tion with exercising their Section 10 rights to accompa-niment, and can take a claim to a tribunal within threemonths. If working for the same employer, both theworker and companion have the right to be paid. ALay Official working for a different employer would beprotected from detrimental action by that employer,but has no right to be paid by that employer for anytime taken to deal with the hearing.As has been said, the legal right to accompaniment is triggered at a disciplinary hearing if the hear-ing could result in a formal warning or some other action such as suspension, demotion, or dis-missal. It is so widely drawn that it is hard to see how a Rep could be excluded from any formalhearing.IF YOU THINK A DISCUSSION THAT STARTS OUT INFORMALLY HAS BECOME– OR COULD BECOME–FORMAL, THEN YOU SHOULD SAY SO AND ASK FOR IT TO BE RESUMED ONLY WHEN YOUR REP ISPRESENT AND CARRYING OUT THE FULL DUTIES OF AN ACCREDITED REPRESENTATIVE OF YOURTRADE UNION.IF YOUR EMPLOYER DOES NOT INFORM YOU THAT YOU AN EMPLOYEE CAN TAKE A CLAIMMAY BRING A TRADE UNION REP TO A HEARING, OR TO A TRIBUNAL IF THE EMPLOYERTRIES TO PREVENT YOU EXERCISING YOUR RIGHT, YOUCAN MAKE A REASONABLE REQUEST TO BE ACCOMPA- REFUSES TO LET THEM BRING THEIRNIED. IF THEY CONTINUE TO REFUSE, YOU CAN MAKE A CHOSEN COMPANION TO THECOMPLAINT TO AN EMPLOYMENT TRIBUNAL. HEARING, AND THERE IS NOW A‘REASONABLE’ MEANS THAT THE HEARING COMPLIES RIGHT ALSO TO APPEAL TO AN EM-WITH THESE CONDITIONS (ON THE LEFT) AND YOU MAKE PLOYMENT APPEAL TRIBUNALTHE REQUEST AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. IF YOU HAVE A (introduced by Section 38 of the Em-LANGUAGE PROBLEM, IT WOULD BE ‘REASONABLE’ TO BE ployment Relations Act 2004.ACCOMPANIED AT MOST HEARINGS. The Secretary reported to the Branch that our campaign to jointly affiliate to theAFFILIATION TO London Transport Regional Council on behalf of our London Overground member- ship as per the Union Rule Book has been successful. It is believed that this decision applies to Richmond Branch and Willesden Rail Branch as well who also have LOROL members. The decision was received as below: ‘That the rules applying to this will apply (Rule 11 Clause 1) however, due to the fact that London Overground Ltd has been set up since this rule came in, it is our responsibility to make sure we improve our organisation. The General Secretary is to write to all Branches and Regional Councils con- tained within the spheres of London Overground with reference to the AGM elections. They will only be allowed to nominate in one AGM area. The General Secretary is to place this information back in front of the Council of Executives in December 2009.’ NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2009, 1700 HOURS: 5 The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  6. 6. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 2 Late September 2009 ‘SWINE FLU’ The Secretary noted YET AGAIN that it was difficult for The Secretary reported on the the Branch to consider and current struggle to have discuss the numerous prob- ‘swine flu’ (N151) excluded lems facing our retail grades from the ‘Managing for At- members if none of them ever tendance’ procedure. This has attend and report their issues! already happened on London Underground and London Over- IF YOU WANT IT DEALT ground and should be extended to all TOC’s. WITH, TURN UP! Although ‘swine flu’ has dropped off the headlines lately, this could be because of the summer months- flu of any kind will al- ways get worse in winter. NXEA’s own ‘Pandemic Flu Planning VICTIMISATION Framework’ (02-10-08) states that ‘pandemic flu may affect as AT ORIENT WAY much as 50% of the population...including children and normally fit young adults’ and that ‘large organisations should plan for 15- It was reported that a Yard Supervisor 20% absenteeism (in addition to usual levels’. It also recognises member at Orient Way is currently that ‘those affected are likely to be highly suspended pending a disciplinary. infectious for 4-5 days and absent from During a shunting movement, a train work for up to 10 days’ and that ‘we driver took the wrong train onto the should expect a pandemic to have a sub- wrong road, and possibly without the stantial effect upon absence from work correct authority. The member within the rail industry’. stopped the train and told the driver The World Health Organisation declared to ‘set the train back’ (meaning, drive swine flu to be a pandemic in June 2009 the train from the front cab back and as the rail industry is a Category Two where it came from) but the driver responder under the Civil Contingencies appeared to think he said ‘set Act TOC’s are required to co-operate with back’ (meaning, propel the train from Government bodies (e.g., the Department the rear) and proceeded to drive of Health/ Health & Safety Executive). through a set of points without set- Most importantly, the Company’s own ting or checking them properly. Our document states quite clearly that NXEA member is suspended while the driver should support all efforts to reduce the concerned (who appears to be clearly impact of the pandemic by ‘taking all reasonable steps to ensure at fault in this matter) has merely that employees who are ill or think they are ill during a pandemic been placed on non-driving duties are positively encouraged not to come into work’. They even admit and more to the point, still at work. that ‘personnel policies may need to be reviewed to achieve this The Branch believes he has been aim’- i.e., suspending MfA. given preferential treatment, and our If the company DO NOT suspend MfA for ‘swine flu’ members member victimised on account of his who are placed on MfA will have a case against the Company for vocal RMT membership (having been endangering themselves, their colleagues and the public. involved a drawn-out case regarding Bro. Tony Rowntree (LUL Revenue Control Inspector), Member- his ROP/COS for some months with ship Secretary of East Ham Branch has provided the Branch with his management) and the fact that he the confirmation that ‘swine flu’ is exempted from MfA, and our used be an ASLE&F trainman but Chair Bro Clarke, will do the same with the LOROL agreement. joined RMT. UPDATE NEXT MONTH! NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2009, 1700 HOURS: 6 The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  7. 7. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 2 Late September 2009 REVENUE PROTECTION The Branch, and this Union at the highest levels, are still in disagreement with Revenue Protec- tion Management over the issue Plain clothes work. Some members of staff have been rostered to undertake this work which in fact is a duty specifically within the remit of the so-far unimple- mented RPO ‘Level 2’ grade, as contained within the Harmonisation Agreement. To ensure this Grade becomes and remains a viable option for progression within the Company for RPO’s. Vol- unteers should also not be sought to carry out this type of work unless the Company intends to pay those individuals for Higher Grade Duties; however secondment (also to be paid at a higher rate) could be an option if plain clothes work is deemed a regular requirement. Staff should be made aware, if they are not already (and the Branch congratulates those mem- bers who are steadfast in their refusal to be conned), that the Company will have no incentive to introduce this grade while they get it for free. CONTRACTS During restructuring in April Management assured there would be no change of contracts and were em- phatic on that point. But two weeks later staff were pre- sented with new contracts which included some serious HEALTH AND SAFETY– GOB LINE changes in T&C’s, e.g., within Revenue Protection Grades, Line Managers are now Team Leaders and Reports that some of the new cabins are leaking LOROL are claiming that they are outside the bargain- which has resulted in lots of mopping up for Sta- ing machinery- even though they are our members. tion Assistants (which of course takes them from The RMT failed to agree on this. their other duties). The chain of command seems to have failed in that whoever this is reported to, TERMS AND CONDITIONS nothing is done and responsibility abrogated. Station staff on the Gospel Oak- Barking line have still But the GSM or Buildings Department should be not seen a copy of their T&C’s in hard copy. It was responsible. agreed that the secretary would contact the LOROL Head It was agreed that the Health & Safety Rep will of Employee Relations, Moira Bentley, CC’d to Willesden put in a letter (and keep a copy of it) to the im- Rail and Richmond Branches, and request copies of mediate manager and CC to DFC Rep’s (Randall, T&C’s are given to staff requiring them immediately. Craigo, Saunders, Fisher) re. The potential haz- ards of slips, trips, and falls. PENSIONS ‘DASHBOARD’ Under Silverlink, staff were automatically put This performance measure for staff would particularly affect into the Company Pension Scheme. As this is Revenue Grades as may lead to a lack of discretion in the now voluntary under LOROL, up to 250 mem- issuing of Penalty Fares and MG11 reports and potentially bers of staff may now be without a pension. lead to a rise in assaults. The Branch agreed this is effec- This has been passed up to the London Trans- tively a method of appraisal with a view to dismissal. port Regional Organiser Bro. Steven Hedley ‘Dashboard to dash your job’ is a slogan circulating within and is still being fought by the DFC Reps. the grade at this point which does not (again!) bode well for industrial relations in LOROL. NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2009, 1700 HOURS: The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, 7 Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS
  8. 8. East London Rail Branch News Vol II, Issue 2 Late September 2009 VOTE DERRICK MARR FOR REGIONAL ORGANISER BE EVEN SMARTER... VOTE DEL MARR!!! #❶ PHONE: 0207 7529 8835 NEXT BRANCH MEETING: TUESDAY 20TH OCTOBER 2009, 1700 HOURS: The Railway Tavern Public House (Conservatory room), Angel Lane, Stratford, London E15… CONTACT THE SECRETARY FOR DETAILS. 8

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