EMT imposed its pay deal for all staff except drivers in December. They rushed it out so that the money would be in peoples’ bank accounts just before Christmas. Drivers are already in talks for the 2009 pay round as their anniversary date was moved to the start of the year. Management have presented a productivity wish list with an indication that the pay award without productivity will be very small.
There is no mention of committed Sundays for drivers so it looks like the guards have achieved a score draw on this. Committed Sundays are in the contracts of new starters but established staff still don’t have to work them. After all the fuss EMT made about this issue it makes you wonder if they were just looking for a fight with the RMT?
On pensions, the main attack from EMT is its plan to increase the normal retirement age from 60 to 62. Along with other cost-saving plans, the company claims we can avoid having to move to a reduced benefit Career Average Scheme which was one of the core recommendations of last year’s Railways Pension Commission.
EMT threatened to terminate the procedural agreements for the machinery of negotiation and is trying to bring in new ones. Against this, DFC reps for guards have forced RMT to adopt a policy of no new machinery until harmonisation is carried out. They rightly claim that any changes to the agreement could result in some grades not being adequately represented at harmonisation meetings and hence their terms and conditions being sold short by new unknowledgeable reps.
Stagecoach have also announced job losses even though their latest figures show a 24% increase in profits.