Safety rep has pay deducted for doing union duty

Local trains health and safety rep, Gary Fitzpatrick, was recently deducted a day’s pay in a case which demonstrates the warped priorities of our management at the moment. Safety continues to be ignored in favour of keeping the service running at all costs, and union reps continue to be harassed and bullied for trying to protect their members.

Safety ignored after lift failure On 10th July, Gary received a call from the local health and safety rep at Holloway Road and was told that the lifts had failed but that management were insisting the station remain open. Gary went immediately to Holloway Road and asked the GSM why the station was still open in contravention of the Congestion Control Evacuation Plan (CCEP). The GSM refused to explain himself so Gary informed him that he wanted to begin his own investigation of the incident as is his right under health and safety law. He was refused this right and was unable to get anywhere with line management, despite repeated attempts throughout the day. Management seemed quite content with their flagrant violation of the CCEP and with the fact that passengers’ safety was being put at risk.

Victimised for doing his duty When Gary called his own DMT at Arnos Grove to explain that he was unavailable for his train driving duty due to his being involved in the safety incident at Holloway Road, he was asked to report for a later duty – this being yet another potential safety breach! Gary declined the offer to do what would have amounted to a 16-hour day and instead returned to Arnos Grove the next day only to find that he had been deducted a day’s pay. It gets worse. Gary then put in a grievance to get his pay reinstated. The grievance was dealt with by Train Ops Manager, Oliver Monahan, despite the fact that he was the one who deducted Gary’s pay in the first place! You couldn’t make it up. No surprise, then, that Mr Monahan found nothing wrong with the deduction. Gary is now appealing this decision to Performance Manager, Nick Shaw, and is preparing to go to an Employment Tribunal should this prove necessary. With managers so frequently breaking agreements, flouting health and safety regulations and victimising staff, it’s small wonder we’re still in dispute with them.