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:-
- PLAIN LINE PATTERN RECOGNITION TRAIN (HSR/)
“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.”
“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.”
- ATTACKING AUSTERITY CUTS TOGETHER (Policy/)
“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.”
“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.”
- STOOD OFF ARRANGEMENTS – NETWORK RAIL (BR6/5/5)
“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.”
“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.”
- 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.”
“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.”
- CHANGES TO TRACK ACCESS ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES (HSR/)
“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.”
“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.”
- ‘OBSERVER OF TRAINS’ ROLE – CARILLION/NETWORK RAIL (HSR/)
“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.”
“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.”
- PLANNING WORK “ON OR NEAR THE LINE” – REGIONAL PROCEDURE W&W IMS000626 (HSR/)
“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.”
“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.”
- SAFE WORK LEADER – STAFF EQUALITY (HSR/)
“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.”
“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”
SUBMITTED TO AGM 2016
“That we note tis item has been referred to the 2016 Annual General meeting.”
ER2. “OH ASSIST” OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE – NETWORK RAIL (HSR/)
“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”
SUBMITTED TO AGM 2016
“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.