Category: Reps

Campaigning For Free Trade Unions – National Conference, Saturday 3rd December

Campaigning For Free Trade Unions – National Conference, Saturday 3rd December


The Campaign for Trade Union Freedom supported by the Institute of Employment Rights are hosting an important conference to discuss the Tory Government’s new anti-trade union laws.


Come and join this free conference, to hear the case for why unions should be free of anti-union laws – free to protect their members, free to bargain on even footing, free to do as their members democratically choose, free with a right to strike.


The conference will focus on the need to mobilise and support a major trade union campaign to fight against attacks on workers’ and union rights.


National Conference, Saturday 3rd December, 11.00am to 4:00pm


Venue: Mander Hall, NEU Mabledon Place London WC1H 9BD.

Registration: Register for your free place here 


Speakers: Mick Lynch // Frances O’Grady, TUC // Dave Ward, CWU // Kevin Courtney, NEU // Jo Grady, UCU // Mark Serwotka, PCS // Mick Whelan, ASLEF // Barry Gardiner MP // John McDonnell MP //Professor Keith Ewing // Lord John Hendy KC // Ben Chacko, Morning Star // Matt Foot, Lawyer & writer // Andy Green, CTUF & Unite EC // Nabeela Mowlana, Young Labour // Laura Pidcock, Peoples Assembly & more speakers invited including workers in dispute.


Chairs: Tony Burke, Unite, CSEU & Sarah Woolley, BFAWU

Yours sincerely


20200518 Mick Lynch sig

Michael Lynch

General Secretary

LUL Transformation: Why it matters to us all

LUL have announced a new wave of job losses as our mayor implements both the government austerity measures, along side his own cuts agenda.


However, these cuts are now starting to occur within operational areas and also include areas that have already been cut before, for example:


Asset Performance Control Centre (APCC) and Duty Operation Manager Engineering (DOM(e)) was reorganised less than 2 years ago. That reorganisation in the APCC and DOM(E) area saw over a 17% cut in staff and that lead to increased pressures and workload for the remaining staff. Despite assurances that to the contrary, we now find that they are being attacked again. It is obviously that if you give so much as an inch then the company will take a mile. The DOM(E) and their counterparts on JNP, will go from 20 staff to 7 staff, again being unworkable and will effect the lives of those left in these roles


In the Fault Report Centers, LUL want to lower the number of operators on both from 50 staff to 28 operators and 7 team leaders despite the fact that staff there are struggling with their current workload. The RMT do not accept that this is safe and we believe will effect our members health and well-being and workload balance.


And no surprise bu tno senior manager is losing their job!


It is obvious that the company want us to pay for their cuts with our jobs and we say NO!


Breach of agreements


RMT have taken the serious decision to refuse to enter into talks and have entered into dispute instead. This is because LUL are refusing to acknowledge the processes and agreements that you Union negotiated for us all to protect us and protect our jobs.


Jobs for life deal.


The below agreement was reached with LUL prior to privatisation of the Engineering Functions and is contractual. They cannot make anyone compulsory redundant and have to show, very importantly, that a job loss is SAFE. There is no point in talks if they refuse to follow these agreements and insist on sham talks without FULL and THOROUGH discussions with our health and safety reps prior to any further discussions. That does not mean us going cap in hand to LUL and saying this is wrong, but working together to identify all the risks and making sure it is correct. We fail to understand why LUL are refusing to cooperate with us on this matter unless they intend to to force these changes through.


Jobs for Life Deal click here>>


If it is not safe, then there is nothing to accept.


Negotiation and NOT consultation.


The below agreement is also contractual and LUL are refusing to acknowledge and follow its principles for these talks. This is the precedent that will be used to beat us ALL up with and is not acceptable.


Negotiation means we talk, we agree and we work together. Consultation means they told us now off we go like good little children. We will defend our agreements and we will not accept them telling us anything especially when it comes to people’s livelihoods.


Code of Practice PPP click here>>



LUL need to come to the table and start talking seriously with your union and honour our agreements and we intend to ballot our members to ensure this occurs

Membership Details

It is vitally important that members keep their contact and work details up to date with the RMT.


This is so that we can keep you updated and if need be, have the details that we need to ballot you, ie correct job title, work location and company.


You can update your details via the rmt website



RMT Website


or talk to your local rep or email your secretary at


Further to my Circular IR/116/19 25th March 2019, I write to advise branches that we have received correspondence from Network Rail and London Underground who are the client companies that contract Interserve to carry out cleaning and security. They have both confirmed that contingency plans are in place to ensure the continuity of service and the payment of wages should the company go bust. This will no doubt give some reassurance to members over the potential impact of any worsening of Interserve’s position.
In addition Network Rail has explicitly stated that where it makes financial sense they would embrace the opportunity to bring the work back in house. The NEC has considered this issue and instructed me to prepare a submission document to Network Rail making the case.
Branches will be kept fully informed of developments.
Yours sincerely
Mick Cash

Engineering Grades Conference Resolutions

NATIONAL industrial ORGANISING conference of engineering GRADES 2016


The following resolutions were passed at the 2016 conference and the National Executive Committee decisions are given below:-




“Following a recent incident at Penmaenmawr when a broken rail was left for 48 hours before reporting it to Llandudno p/way office


On the 25/11/15 the PLPR 1 Train passed over a broken rail/large gap, but did not report it until Friday 27/11/15.  Although this is within their standard we feel that it needs to be addressed as several trains had passed over it.


If this had been found by a patroller it would have been attended to immediately, therefore reducing any possible danger to passengers and staff.


This Branch wishes to forward their concerns regarding possible safety implications raised by this issue and a review of reporting procedures.

Existing standard could lead to a derailment in any area.”


NEC Decision


“That we note the resolution from our National Industrial Organising Conference of Engineering Grades and sentiments contained within it. We further note that a file already exists on this item and that the General Secretary has written to Network Rail questioning the standards but has yet to receive a reply. The General Secretary is therefore instructed to add this resolution to the file and to seek a reply from Network Rail.”





“This Conference notes that astounding breadth of attacks by the Tory government aimed at stripping and attacking our job security and conditions within the Engineering functions of both Network Rail and London Underground.


We believe that only action by our class will ultimately protect us and we call for the National Executive Committee to look at joint action against these cuts by engineers at each and every opportunity that arises.”


NEC Decision


“That we note the resolution from our National Industrial Organising Conference of Engineering Grades and support the sentiments contained within it. Where ever possible the NEC does its best to co-ordinate disputes, in particular disputes within our organisation, in order to ensure maximum impact and solidarity.”





“This Branch calls on the National Executive Committee to seek, through the General Secretary, a proper structure and process to be put in place when a member may have to be put on the stood off arrangements.


This Branch does believe that at such meetings Network Rail should provide a Human Resource person who should be aware of such agreements like the Stood Off arrangements and members’ cases should be brought to our coordinator’s attention allowing him/her to arrange a suitable representative to attend and help advice and protect our members.


Over the past year in Scotland we have had members being interviewed by the local manager and office admin where they have been handed a letter stating they are on stood-off and a representative, who happens to be nearby are asked to attend and who might be unprepared at these meetings and our members are left unaware and confused of the outcome.


Our union has a duty of care to make sure a proper structure is put in place and this would go a long way in protecting our members as they should not pay the price with Network Rail HR departments being reduced in size and structure.”


NEC Decision


“That we note the resolution from our National Industrial Organising Conference of Engineering Grades and sentiments contained within it. As an NEC we understand the problems that can arise within an organisation in which managers are not fully aware of the process that should be followed.


We therefore instruct the General Secretary to seek an agreed document with Network Rail clearly laying out the processes to be followed when placing members under the “Stood Off Procedures”. This should include our “Co-Ordinators” being informed at the initial stage when the “Stood Off” arrangements are being considered.”



  1. ENGINEERING GRADES CHARTER (Policy/)                                                                          


This Conference notes the success and use of Charters to promote the union and focus around joint goals to assist recruitment.


This is especially important given the cuts agenda and fragmentation that we have seen for years in our industry.


We note that the LUL Track Workers Charter is already in existence and we therefore call on the National Executive Committee along with the Engineering delegates and Organising Unit to produce a Charter aimed at large scale organisation and recruitment in Engineering Grades.”


NEC Decision


“That we note the resolution from our National Industrial Organising Conference of Engineering Grades and sentiments contained within it. We note the General Secretary is currently in the process of revising the “Charter” for our Fleet Maintenance Grades. In addition we note that LU engineering previously produced a “Charter” for contractors and also that the General Secretary is in the process of developing a “Charter” for our “Renewals Members”. We therefore instruct the General Secretary to pursue this item in conjunction with the Conference Liaison Committee to ensure that we are able to develop an effective Charter that will help recruit and retain members within this sector.”





“This Conference is saddened by the death of Scott Dobson and the derisory fine that Carillion Rail received.  His death highlighted all that is wrong with privatisation and a cuts driven agenda that leaves Engineers facing risk of death and injury whilst earning their wages.


It seems every journey matters but not every worker.


We further note the changes to roles and responsibilities for Track Access in both Network Rail and across London Underground. We will not pay with our blood so the fat cats and Tory Ministers can rake in more and more profit.


We therefore call on the National Executive Committee to set up:


  • A joint LUL and Network Rail Engineering Forum to share plans on these cuts to track access procedures and roles


  • To share best practice and examples to defeat these changes
  • To build a database of incidents that are available to Engineering Reps to use in the arguments
  • Produce a leaflet to all members stating their rights and how they should be working safely on the track.”

NEC Decision


“That we note the resolution from our National Industrial organising Conference of Engineering Grades and sentiments contained within it. We therefore instruct the General Secretary to take this matter up in line with the conference resolution.”


“This Engineering Grades Conference is alarmed that Carillion have introduced a new role to their procedure: “Observer of Trains”.

This means that when you are using a “Site Warden Warning” Safe System of Work, you also have somebody appointed watching out for trains, providing a warning.

It is not recognised within the rule book, or by any of the other rail renewals companies to our knowledge.

However, if you work on a site that comes under their control, ie; if they are the Principle Contractor (PC), they mandate that you work to this or they refuse you permission to work.

If you are agency staff or just happen to be working within their PC area for considerable amount of time it has the potential to cause danger.

We believe this will increase the risk to our members, especially when you move onto another site, or work for somebody else and this role is no longer in place.

If Carillion believe the rule book is insufficient for the safety of our members, why haven’t they raised it through the appropriate channels and tried to get this role introduced for all staff industry wide?

All staff nationally operates to the same rule book and plan to the same Safe System of Work Hierarchy.

We ask that this matter be taken up with Network Rail and Carillion urgently and seek the withdrawal of this made up role.”

NEC Decision

“That we note the resolution from our National Industrial Organising Conference of Engineering Grades and the sentiments contained within it. We note the resolution calls for the withdrawal of this method of working. Whilst we understand the problems of having different standards of safety, within possessions, can lead to confusion and may cause unnecessary safety risks.

However as an NEC we believe that any additional methods that make the safety of our members working “On or near the line” safer should be given proper consideration. We also believe that additional staff for safety purposes fall within this category.

We therefore instruct the General Secretary to write to Network Rail branch seeking their clarification on approaching both Network Rail and Carillion with a view to putting forward proposals to the RSSB with a view to incorporating this position within the rule book. All developments to be placed back before the NEC.”





“This Engineering Grades Conference is outraged to hear that Network Rail IP Wales and Western have a regional procedure in place for planning work on or near the line.

The procedure only applies to staff working on Network Rail Investment Projects Wales and Western (IP W&W)

It states that any work below the SSOW Hierarchy Fenced, must have sign off approval by their own company and Network Rail senior management.

It doesn’t apply to walking to/from site, only working. It doesn’t apply if you are more than 3 metres away from the nearest running rail. If you work for Network Rail Maintenance it does not apply. If you are working on anything other than IP W&W, it doesn’t apply.  Amey have the CEFA contract nationally, it does not apply to that.

It’s not unheard of for our projects staff to help out the CEFA staff and work on their projects acting as COSS etc.  Occasionally we have staff seconded onto Network Rail to undertake maintenance tasks, so therefore it would not apply then.

If you work on any job within a different region, it does not apply.

We all work to the same rule book and all face the same risk on a daily basis regardless of which project, or which region you happen to be working on.

We ask that this matter be taken up with Network Rail urgently and seek the withdrawal of this procedure.”


NEC Decision


“That we note the resolution from our National Industrial Organising Conference of Engineering Grades and instruct the General Secretary to raise the issue with Network Rail.

The General Secretary should question Network Rail as to the introduction of “Regional Procedures” without any consultation with this union.


All developments to be placed back before the NEC.”





“This Engineering Grades Conference is outraged at Network Rail’s decision to introduce the new Proscient System for PDSW/SWL for all staff outside of Network Rail.

We believe that this is wrong and all staff should be treated equally.   We all operate to the same rule book and all face the same risks working on the railway, day in, day out.

We ask that this matter be taken up with Network Rail urgently to ensure this does not happen.

Many of our members’ work for rail renewals companies and can often work within maintenance possession/worksites and indeed can often be seconded to undertake maintenance tasks.

We also have Network Rail maintenance staff work within renewals worksites.

We believe that having two systems in place will not only be an operational nightmare, but in fact pose more danger to the travelling public and indeed our members.”

NEC Decision

“That we note the resolution from our National Industrial          Organising Conference of Engineering Grades and the sentiments contained within it. We therefore instruct the General Secretary to raise this issue with Network Rail concerning the use of Renewal Contractors operating the “Proscient System”. This is concerning as there has been no consultation in respect of other parties using the system and clearly poses problems of having different systems of “Safe Working”.

All developments to be placed back before the NEC.”                                           

ER1.   STAFFING LEVELS, S&T TEAMS – NETWORK RAIL                            MAINTENACE (BR4/14/5)

“This Branch is aware that Network Rail is regularly running two-person S&T Teams on         both Anglia Route and in other areas nationwide.


Network Rail’s management at IMDM and Area Director level are of the opinion that as         long as an initial roster shows a three-person team then they are only obliged to fill any absences due to Annual leave, Secondment, Training , Long term sickness etc. and within budget.


The budget within the S&T Department currently sits as two hours overtime per person        per week. Our local S&T Rep has calculated that to cover everyone’s leave entitlement alone would amount to 6 hours per person per week of overtime. So effectively the departmental         budget will always be well short of what is required to truly provide a three-person S&T team.


This branch feels that Network Rail is undermining both the safety and long term job security of our S&T members by taking this stance.


We feel that the industrial process within Network Rail has failed on this issue and so request that our union acts on our concerns. If letters and dialogue fail to resolve these issues       then our union will go into a dispute with network rail regarding this issue”



NEC Decision


“That we note tis item has been referred to the 2016 Annual General meeting.”






“This Branch calls on the NEC to take on board the growing concerns that infrastructure        members are having with the occupational health provider appointed by Network Rail 2015.
Many members, who have experienced health issues like mental health, cancer and heart      disorders have been left frustrated and feel abandoned by Network Rail & OH Assist, as going through phone consultations adds to the stress and uncertainty of their heath situation.


This branch further believes that Network Rail’s move to OH Assist has been based    purely on finance and is not based on the wellbeing of its employees or members covered by this Conference.


We call on the Union through our national officials to gather the concerns of our        members and campaign to better the system of consultation in having face to face consultations   and our members should not be given a substandard service – they deserve much better after giving many years to the infrastructure companies and many of their health concerns could well be due to their working environment”




NEC Decision


“That we note this item has been referred to the 2016 Annual General Meeting.”


I can advise you that all the instructions contained in these decisions are now being carried out and I would be grateful if you could bring the contents of this circular to the attention of your members.



Yours sincerely

Mick Cash

General Secretary



Circular No MF/133/15
12th November 2015

Dear Colleague,


As you know, the cost of providing members with the benefits of RMT membership increases every year and contribution rates increase in line with inflation to help us to maintain and improve those benefits and services.

​With effect from the 1st January 2016 new members joining whose basic salary or equivalent earnings are above £20,700 per annum will pay £4.68 per week

​New members whose basic salary or equivalent earnings are below £20,700 per annum will pay £2.02 per week

​The transitional rates of £1.50 and £2.90 will remain at the same level until otherwise advised.

The new contribution rates effective from 1 January 2016 will be:

​Period​Full Rate​Low Rate

​Weekly​£4.68​£2.02​ ​

​4 Weekly​£18.72​£8.08​

​Monthly ​ ​£20.28​£8.75
​ ​

Members will be notified of the increases through the next edition of RMT News to be delivered before the end of the year.

Yours sincerely,

M. Cash
General Secretary

Winter Legal Update 2016

Winter Legal Update 2016

  1. Conciliation Officers


  It has come to my attention that members are putting their reps and Regional Administrators forward as conciliators for ACAS conciliation; please remind all branch activists and reps that the Unions approved Conciliator’s are Regional Organisers. Members can act for themselves in ACAS or nominate their Regional Organiser. If in any doubt as to who the Regional Organiser is they should contact their Regional Office.


  1. ACAS Certificates


These are extremely important as receipt of a certificate starts the limitation clock running. Members also cannot begin a Tribunal claim without one. When a certificate is received by the member or Regional Organiser provided the Legal Claim is current and ongoing it should be sent to the Legal Department immediately so that limitation can be recalculated and member advised.



  1. Zero Hours Contracts


In May 2015 the Employment Relations Act 1996 (ERA) was amended to include at s.27A a provision which made unenforceable any requirement in a zero-hour contract that the worker could not work elsewhere or could do so only with the employer’s consent. This was regarded as toothless because many zero-hour staff are not employees nor have the necessary two year qualifying period to claim unfair dismissal. This has now changed.


The Exclusivity Terms in Zero Hours Contracts (Redress) Regulations 2015 came into force in January and changed the provision in favour of the employee.

The 2015 Regulations provide that where a worker is dismissed for working elsewhere or doing so without the employers consent, the dismissal will now be unfair. No minimum length of service is required and workers without employee status can claim the same level of compensation as those with employee status. Where the worker is not dismissed but is subject to a detriment that is now actionable in the same way as the other detriment provisions contained in the ERA.

The Regulations shift the burden of proof on the employer from the outset. Regulation 3(6) provides that it is for the employer to establish that the dismissal or detriment was for something other than that breach and if it cannot do so it will lose.

  1. Right to Rent Scheme 

Under the Immigration Act 2014 (IA) the Right to rent scheme will be extended across the whole of England. It has been piloted in the West Midlands since 1st December 2014. From 1st February 2016 all private landlords will have to check whether prospective tenants have the right to occupy their premises before granting a tenancy.

The intention of the scheme is to prevent those unlawfully in the UK from accessing housing. Right to Rent is based on immigration status. Under the IA landlords must ensure that prospective tenants are not disqualified from occupying their property. A person will be disqualified if they are not a:

  • British citizen
  • National of an EEA state
  • National of Switzerland; or
  • Person who has a right to rent in relation to the premises.

A tenant will not have the right to rent if they require leave to enter or remain in the UK and do not have that leave, or they have obtained leave but it is subject to conditions that prevent them from occupying the premises.

Landlords must also ensure that someone’s right to occupy does not lapse.

Breach of the Act can result in penalties of up to £3,000 per tenant.

Landlords must:

  • Obtain original versions of one or more documents;

o   UK/ EEA passport

o   National ID card

o   Permanent Residence Card

  • Check the documents validity in the presence of the prospective tenant holder
  • Make and retain a clear copy
  • Record the date the immigration check was made

Landlords will need to notify any concerns to the Home Office and ensure that their immigration check does not flout anti-discrimination laws.

If landlords use an agency they can pass on these obligations in writing to the agency.

This scheme designed to stop unscrupulous landlords could will give them an avenue to exploit the vulnerable. It remains to be seen whether it will crack down on unscrupulous landlords. It will make it more difficult for those with no right to be in the UK to rent private accommodation. All of our members will be subjected to these checks when they rent given the requirement to avoid discrimination claims.

  1. Striking Workers

The Government recently responded to its consultation on tackling intimidation of non-striking workers. It has confirmed that it will drop a number of proposals including plans:

o   To require unions to publish their plans for industrial action, pickets and social medical campaigns in advance;

o   For a new criminal offence of intimidation on the picket line, and

o   To require unions to report annually on their industrial action and picketing activities.

It will however continue with proposals to introduce a legal requirement for unions to appoint a picket supervisor who will be responsible for the conduct of the picket.

The Government has also confirmed that it will update the Code of Practice on picketing to clarify the legal protections already available to those who suffer intimidation in relation to industrial action and introduce new guidance on how to seek redress if intimidation takes place using social media.

  1. Changes in 2016;


o   Greater protection for zero hours workers (see above)


o   Introduction of the National Living Wage, introduced in April applicable to employees aged 25 and other. The rate will be £7.20 per hour, rising to at least £9.00 per hour by 2020.


o   The Trade Union Bill is currently progressing through Parliament, it is expected that the Bill will complete its passage through Parliament this year.


o   Changes to the taxation of termination payments. The Government has been consulting on the future of taxation of termination payments, including the current exemption from tax of the first £30,000 of any termination payment. The Governments response to the consultation is expected this year.


o   Consultation on grandparental leave is scheduled to take place this year on proposals to extent shared parental leave and pay to working grandparents with the proposals to be implements in 2018.


o   Gender Pay Gap Regulations due. The Government is to require all private sector employees with 250 or more employees to publish gender pay gap information. Regulations to implement the legislation were scheduled to come into force by the end of March 2016, but they have not been published yet.


o   Modern Slavery Act 2015 statutory statement. All commercial organisations carrying on business in the UK with a turnover of £36m or more from October 2015 have to complete a slavery and human trafficking statement for each financial year. The provision is for large business to publicly state each year the actions they are taking to ensure their supply chains are slavery free.


The statement must be formally approved by the organisation. Failure to do so may lead to enforcement proceedings being taken by the Secretary of State by way of civil proceedings in the High Court.


o   New Health and Safety sentencing guidelines issued on 3rd November 2015 which will apply to sentencing in all health and safety and corporate manslaughter prosecutions. It will be mandatory for all courts to follow the guidelines for all sentences passed after 1st February 2016 regardless of whether or not the offence took place before that date.


Current guidelines provide fines for health and safety offences resulting in death should not normally be less than £100,000 and for corporate manslaughter not less than £500,000. Under the new guidelines fines will be calculated in a staged process having regard to the level of harm, culpability and the organisations turn over.


For the most serious Health and Safety offences, fines of up to £10 million are envisaged for large organisations (I.e. those with a turnover greater than 50million), £4million for medium organisations (turn over between 10-50 million) up to 1.6 million for small organisations (2-10 million) and up to £450,000 for micro businesses (turnover of less than 2 million).



  1. Territorial Jurisdiction: Seafarers

In R (Fleet Maritime Services (Bermuda) Limited) v The Pensions Regulator the High Court ruled that UK courts had jurisdiction to hear a case if the seafarer  work from a ‘base’ in Britain, but that this will not be the case if they do not habitually begin and end their tours of duty from a British port.

The Regulator issued the Bermuda-incorporated Claimant with a compliance notice for failing to auto-enrol British-domiciled seafarers regularly working aboard its cruise ships. The Claimant brought a judicial review because its ships operated principally outside of British territorial waters.

The Court concluded that the Lawson v Serco approach to determining a peripatetic worker’s ‘base’ for the purposes of unfair dismissal jurisdiction was also applicable to the 2008 Act. The Court further determined that, irrespective of duration aboard, seafarers are, under the 2008 Act, based at the port from which their tours of duty generally begin and end not aboard the ship itself or under its flag state. For the Act to apply some degree of regularity is also required, a single tour cannot establish a base.

Days spent traveling between Britain and foreign ports of embarkation, whilst remunerated, were also properly treated as commuting, not work. As such the Regulator had erred in finding a duty in relation to those of the Claimant’s employees whose tours did not habitually commence from British ports.



  1. Carry forward of holiday pay during sickness


EAT in Plumb v Duncan Print Group Ltd decided that the carry over period for annual leave is subject to an 18 month temporal limit.

Reg 13(9) of Working Time Regs 1998 requires a worker to take annual leave within the leave year it was due. This may not be replaced by a payment in lieu except where the employment is terminated.

The Court decided (NHS Leeds V Lawer) that where a worker was unable or unwilling to take paid annual leave during a period of sickness absence they were entitled to take their leave when they were not sick.

In Plumb, Mr P was a printer who had an accident in April 2010 and was certified unfair until Feb 2014 when his employment was terminated. He did not take paid annual leave for 2010, 2011 and 2012.In Aug 2015 he requested 20 days paid annual leave for each of these years. His request was refused. He bought a claim for holiday pay for these years. EAT dismissed his claim.

What a representative should be doing

What a representative should be doing


ALL Representatives will:

  2. All reps should be trained and use that training to support their role and their members
  3. All reps are expected to take part in Branch recruitment and retention programs.
  4. Use the Labour Research Books if made available to you
  5. Remain accountable to your members
  6. Have regular Branch Correspondence/ Communication with the Branch.
  7. Local Reps MUST forward their work details (such as staff lists, depot and office locations) to the Membership Secretary for recruitment and retention reasons on a minimum of quarterly or in the event of major changes basis. This is vital to overview our recruitment.
  8. Help produce local newsletter/ update for their members and branch


Level 2 Reps will:

  1. Give a report to the Branch on a three monthly basis on their activities.
  2. It is stressed that the Branch Report back is an essential part of Level 2
  3. Feedback Minutes and information for the local level reps
  4. Support and assist Local Level Reps
  5. Engage with their employer to make sure a fair recruitment process takes place and actively supports recruitment of under-represented groups in the workplace.


Branch Attendance


  1. All reps are expected to attend the Branch at least once a quarter and apologies given to the Branch Secretary if they unable to be present at a meeting. Apologies will only be included in the minutes by the branch if acceptable reasons are given.
  2. Reps without the minimum attendance levels will not be allowed to stand for re-election at the AGM and will have to report to the branch.
  3. Any rep not present at the Branch for six months will be contacted to explore reasons for non-attendance. The Branch will offer to assist in any way practicable so that reps have every opportunity to attend.
  4. Failure to further attend future meetings will result in the Branch deciding whether to remove the individual as a representative
  5. There is a difference between being unable to attend and ‘cannot be bothered’.
  6. The branch is prepared to look at all means, including technological to assist

 What reps should do

What the Branch Executive and Officers are expected to do?

What the Branch Executive and Officers are expected to do


Branch Officials


All Branch Officials will carry out duties as defined within the Union Rule Book.

The Branch Secretary, Branch Chair and Treasurer may not hold two positions within the Branch.


Each officer is a member of the branch executive and will have authorisation rights for the branch website.


The following are summaries of the roles and responsibilities:


Branch Secretary will:

  1. Forward the branch agenda
  2. Circulate minutes to those that attended that specific Branch and also forward an amended version for general circulation as soon as the Branch agrees them as being true.
  3. The Branch Secretary will maintain and distribute contact details for all reps and officials within the Branch.
  4. Complete Members claims paperwork
  5. Maintain the branch book
  6. Organise and oversee the running of the branch
  7. Ensure that branch decisions are enacted
  8. Arrange training for the Rep
  9. Ensure branch expenses are paid
  10. Oversee the Branch Website and Communications
  11. Notify Unity House of changes to representation


Assistant Branch Secretary will:

  1. Assist the Branch Secretary
  2. Organise the Branch Executive dates and minutes/ agenda
  3. Attend branch meetings in the absence of the Secretary.
  4. will keep a log of all resolutions and outstanding branch issues
  5. Will audit Branch Attendance
  6. Will reports and updates where necessary.


Branch Chair will:

  1. Will conduct Branch meetings in an orderly manner and to the Rule Book
  2. Sign the branch minutes if true
  3. Sign associated paperwork for Unity House


Assistant Branch Chair will:

  1. They will stand in as Chair in their absence


Membership Secretary will:

  1. Will give an update to each and every branch meeting on the state of recruitment.
  2. They will maintain the branch membership and list of representative details.
  3. They will be assisted by the local reps and if that assistance is not forthcoming will report it to the branch.
  4. They will distribute and report on leavers and joiners on a bi-monthly basis and highlight any areas of membership concern.
  5. They will draw up a quarterly report on the equality breakdown of the branch which they will compile from the staff list and information that MUST be provided by each representative throughout the year.


Treasurer will:

  1. Oversee the finances of the Branch and also collect and maintain receipts.(along with the Branch Secretary)
  2. They will oversee audits of the Branch funds twice yearly in conjunction with the auditors.
  3. They will give a report on the finances of the Branch after each audit.
  4. They will hold the branch cheque book/ electronic payments and assist the secretary to oversee the branch finances
  5. They will authorise payments if correct and legitimate


Equality Officer will:

  1. Update the Branch on any changes to Equality Law and promote the role of equal opportunities within the Branch.
  2. They will report on the membership breakdown of the branch on a six monthly basis and come up with a plan to address any areas of under representation.
  3. They will organise one main event once per year and quarterly updates for the Branch website/ newsletter.


Health and Safety Officer will:

  1. Update the Branch on any changes to health and safety law and promote the role of health and safety within the Branch.
  2. They will report on all health and safety issues relevant to the branch come up with a plan to address any areas of concern.
  3. They will organise one main event once per year and quarterly updates for the Branch website/ newsletter.


Political Officer will:

  1. update the Branch on any political changes and promote the political nature of trade unionism within the Branch.
  2. They will organise one main event once per year and quarterly updates for the Branch website/ newsletter.


Young Person’s Officer will:

  1. Promote the role young people within the Branch and strive to get more young people active in trade union activities.
  2. They will organise one main event once per year and quarterly updates for the Branch website/ newsletter.


Vulnerable Workers Officer will:

  1. Promote the issues regarding vulnerable workers within the Branch and strive to get more people active in trade union activities.
  2. They will report on all vulnerable worker issues relevant to the branch come up with a plan to address any areas of concern.
  3. They will also look after Track Worker Contractors.
  4. They will organise one main event once per year and quarterly updates for the Branch website/ newsletter.


Auditors will assist the Treasurer to audit the branch finances on a half yearly basis.


Branch Executive


An executive of the Branch will meet an hour before the second Branch Meeting of each month.


It will consist of all officers of the Branch.


Two lay members will be elected by the Branch to also sit on the executive.


Such meetings to be arranged by the Assistant Secretary and an agenda produced based on the below


Branch Lay Members:


The branch will elect two persons to act as lay members of the branch executive with full voting rights.


Where possible the branch will elect further lay representatives in the following proportions specifically with the mandate to push and promote equality in the branch: 2 Women Members, 2 Vulnerable Worker Members, 2 BEM members, 2 Disabled Members, 2 Young Members and 2 LGBT Members.



The Branch Executive will:

  1. Review the branch on a monthly basis to address any failings and learn from any successes.
  2. Produce detailed plans/ propaganda will be formulated to attack priority areas of retention and recruitment
  3. Quarterly reports on membership will be given to the Regional Organiser
  4. The branch Vulnerable Workers, Young Members and Equality Officers will be responsible for ensuring that this remains the branch top priority to develop participation and representation for these members
  5. Training Courses on “Recruitment of all Grades” will be designed by the executive and ensure attendance by all reps within the next 12 months.
  6. Arrange for surveys to be carried out of targeted branch members such as Females to see what they want from their union and how we can encourage greater participation and recruitment
  7. Attend a regional council or regional council executive at least four times a year.
  8. Produce a Newsletter for the Branch
  9. Its role will be to oversee the day to day running of the Branch.
  10. This will include making sure that Branch decisions, recruitment plans, and resolutions and business have been undertaken correctly.
  11. It is there, in effect, to make sure that the branch and its officers are functioning properly and effectively.
  12. The executive will report back to the Branch.
  13. It will also oversee the AGM and produce the agenda and electoral lists for that meeting.
  14. Each January the Branch Executive will meet to set the targets and roles and responsibilities for the coming year for each Branch Officer. This will incorporate any targets set in the Branch recruitment plan
  15. Ensure existing reps are joined to the LRD for a year to update books. All young/ vulnerable workers/ female/ BEM reps to receive booklets
  16. Ensure Phone/ Email lists were produced for distribution and organizational purposes that are regularly updated
  17. Target areas with rep vacancies with mail shots to the members asking for volunteers

 What Branch Officials should do


How to raise a grievance


 A grievance is just a term used to describe a complaint that you want to lodge. It can be about any issues from unpaid overtime to severe bullying and harassment.

Your company is legally obliged to care for you under the following legislation:

  • Health and Safety: Your company has a duty of care to ensure that you are safe at work. That can be from obvious risks such as a moving train, or less obvious such as stress. See Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 & Managing Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (amongst others)
  • Workplace Bullying and Harassment: Everyone has the right to be treated equally at work, without prejudice for having a protected characteristic such as Race, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Age, Religion etc. See Equality Act 2010 (amongst others)

 Why should I take a grievance?

A complaint should be raised informally first (if this is possible). If this does not work then the next step is to raise a formal complaint in writing. If this is difficult for you to do then your union rep can assist you to structure your complaint. The reality is that you are likely to be taking a grievance because you feel that there is no other choice.

Most issues should just be dealt with by an employer. Often they are not and resorting to a formal process is required.


  • It is not wrong to actually stand up for your rights and complain if something is wrong or is not dealt with properly. Why should your company get away with it?
  • There is some legal protection should you raise certain issues such as Health and Safety under the Whistle Blowers Act, Discrimination etc
  • The HR department ARE NOT your friends – they’re only there to mitigate your employer’s liability!
  • Always take a union Representative with you. The union also have specially trained Harassment Reps that can help


  1. Gather Evidence: The type of evidence depends on the nature of your grievance. However some examples are: acquiring witness statements from workplace colleagues, collecting emails and keeping them safe, any medical evidence, work place risk assessments etc.
  2. Policies and Procedures: acquire and review your employer’s policies and procedures prior to lodging a grievance letter. Then read them so that you understand the terms used to describe certain acts such as bullying, and the process that needs to be followed, including appeals.
  3. Data Protection Act: You may be able to use the data protection act to obtain your personal data that is help by the company. This data could be written notes, emails, paper files etc. To obtain this information, you can lodge a click it>> Generic Subject Access Request Form
  4. Notes and Diary: Documenting a case, especially one that is over a long time is vital. Keeping a diary will help as a memory aid and can be used to show contemporary reporting of issues to assist your case.
  5. Time Lines: If appropriate, try to write a time line of events to show how you’ve been treated. This can be very simply written. Just Date and short description of the event

What to put in your grievance letter

  • A grievance should have three main sections: introduction/ complaint/ what outcome that you want
  • It should be to the point. You are not writing ‘war and peace’ but succinctly describing an issue and/ or event
  • Bullet Points often help
  • It needs to be clear so that it is understood

Details of how to write a grievance: 

  1. Put your name, grade, location, contact details and date
  2. The name of the person the grievance is going too i.e. line manager (as per your local grievance procedure)
  3. If the complaint is about your manager, send it to their manager

 Introduction Section: 

  1. Write a basic introduction about your complaint.
  2. For example ‘I would like to raise a formal complaint under the grievance procedure. I feel that I have been badly treated and the company have failed to deal with my complaint informally’
  3. It should include any dates for a hearing that you cannot do, for example if on leave etc
  4. Be explicit. If the case is race discrimination state it. ‘I would like to raise a complaint of Race Discrimination’ etc

Complaint/ Main Section

  1. Clearly set out the facts of your complaint.
  2. Explain what the complaint is about and include all relevant information such as dates of events/ short description of the event/ any witnesses (including grades if necessary to identify them) and where the matter happened
  3. It is often helpful to put events in date order by which they happened. If you do not know the exact date, then try to generalise such as early January etc

Outcome Section 

  1. Write what outcome you wish to gain from the grievance.
  2. For example, it may be payment for missing overtime, an end to bullying, or training. Be specific on this. If you do not know what outcome you want, then you are unlikely to be satisfied with the outcome you eventually receive.
  3. Try to have reasonable expectations. Asking to be promoted to CEO is unlikely to work. Full payment for money that you are owed/ respect at work etc is reasonable.


  • Delays are your enemy
  • Any complaint must be referred to the Acas Early Conciliation ( prior to going to an Employment Tribunal. This MUST be done within three months minus a day from when the last incident occurred i.e. if sacked on the 2nd January, a referral to Acas must be done before 1st April
  • You must allow time for the employer to resolve the matter BUT not at the expense of the case going out of time
  • Should a case potentially come under the authority of an Employment Tribunal or Court, then obtain an click it>> L2-June 2014, plus legal-form-guidelines and repayment-of-fees as soon as possible and send these back to Unity House

Example Letter 1

Example Letter 2

Example Time Line

Other additional helpful documents

Subject_Access_Request_Form LUL


Picketing Guidelines

Dear Colleagues


  • Picketing Guidelines
  • The Right to Demonstrate Guidelines
  • Picket Armbands
  • Picket Posters
  • Leaflets and Stickers


With the up-coming Network Rail strike imminent I thought it would send Branches, Regional Offices and Regional Councils a copy of the Picketing Guidelines and The Right to Demonstrate Guidelines and these are attached. I would be obliged if these could be printed off and distributed as necessary.


The communications department are in the process of sending Branches with Network Rail members a number of picket armbands, picket posters together with leaflets and stickers that can be handed out to the public. Should you require any addition armbands, posters, etc., please contact your Regional Office.


Yours sincerely,


 Mick Cash