ACAS talks collapse as RMT offers binding arbitration and management refuse

Regional Organiser Steve Hedley writes ...

I regret to inform you that despite our best efforts in negotiations at ACAS, talks have broken down due to management's refusal to compromise.The RMT delegation proposed that we should enter binding arbitration on the issue of the criterion for deciding on ticket office opening hours, a process where both sides put their arguments and an independent body decides on the merits of the case. In an action that betrays their lack of any solid justification for massive job cuts, management issued a press statement saying they will not go.

RMT and TSSA then offered to suspend the strike if management suspended the job cuts process to carry out a robust review of safety and other issues. Again management rejected our offer. Instead, they wanted us to suspend all industrial action whilst they would implement their job cuts 'on schedule' on February 13th regardless of the outcome of the review.

What is the point in conducting a review and ignoring its results?! This was obviously a management ploy to get us to call off the action for nothing in return. It is therefore quite clear that the strike on Sunday/Monday wll go ahead and we must work to ensure that it is the most solid yet.

There are now 150 fewer managers who have taken voluntary severance available to staff stations on the strike day. So we must ensure that we build the pickets, and cause as much disruption as possible.

Many thanks
Steve Hedley