Author Topic: Possible Rail Strike 25th and 26th  (Read 2471 times)

Offline MorbiusMonster

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Possible Rail Strike 25th and 26th
« on: May 15, 2015, 19:09:59 »
I was checking around and heard that there is a planned Rail Strike for the 25th and 26th by National Rail over jobs and pay.

I feel this is important to mention now, just in case it goes ahead as these may be the days you would be heading home and if you're travelling by train, expect possible delays or cancellations.

Offline SFW

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Re: Possible Rail Strike 25th and 26th
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2015, 20:37:04 »
It's only staff belonging to the RMT union, the others have balloted for strike, but cannot get a strike without seven days notice of intention being given. Talks are planned to avoid strike action and it's best to keep up to date with news sites such as the BBC and National Rail operators information.
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Offline Kuuto_fox

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Re: Possible Rail Strike 25th and 26th
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2015, 20:37:28 »
This is worrisome, but thank you for the update

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Re: Possible Rail Strike 25th and 26th
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2015, 02:54:51 »
It's only staff belonging to the RMT union, the others have balloted for strike, but cannot get a strike without seven days notice of intention being given. Talks are planned to avoid strike action and it's best to keep up to date with news sites such as the BBC and National Rail operators information.

The TSSA ballot closed at noon on Friday, and the result was announced the same day! Their members have also voted in favour of strike action, albeit by a smaller margin, and they've picked the same dates as the RMT.

From my post over on UKFur just now:

A little bit of background. It's Network Rail staff (Signallers, Track Maintenance and the like) who have voted to take industrial action, NOT Train Operating Company staff, and this is the first time there has been a call for a National strike by Operating staff since 1994.

The key issues are over pay and conditions. Network Rail have offered staff a one-off lump sum of £500 for this year, before deductions like Income Tax and National Insurance. This does not count as pensionable as it isn't an increase in the base salary. For 2016-2018 they've offered an increase of flat RPI (which currently stands at 0.9%). They've also offered to extend a moratorium on compulsory redundancies until 31st December 2016. That sounds fine, until you realise that just shy of 80 signalboxes are due to close in 2017 alone, including the large boxes at Birmingham New Street, Macclesfield, Basingstoke, Feltham, Woking and Upminster.

Now that's out of the way, the first thing I would say is DON'T PANIC! Network Rail and the Unions are due to meet at ACAS in London, starting on Monday, so there's still a chance the strike may be suspended.

There are two separate forms the industrial action will take:
  • Staff with shifts rostered to start between 1700 on Monday 25th and 1659 on Tuesday 26th May will not book on for those shifts. Staff who are already on duty when the strike starts are expected to continue until the end of their shift.
  • Staff will not undertake any overtime, additional hours, extended shifts or attend any callouts between 00:01 on Monday 25th and 23:59 on Tuesday 26th May. In addition, TSSA members will not undertake any of these duties to cover shifts that were due to start during the strike.
The extent of the disruption will vary by route, as some signalboxes work to an eight hour roster and some to a twelve hour roster, with varying levels of automation. Disruption WILL continue into Wednesday, however, as a typical shift pattern is 06:00 - 18:00 and 18:00 - 06:00; or 06:00 - 14:00, 14:00 - 22:00 and 22:00 - 06:00, meaning trains will be out of place for start of service on Wednesday. Chiltern Railways, for example, are predicting they'll be able to run some sort of service from London - Aylesbury (via both Amersham and High Wycombe) and London - Bicester North, that being the area covered by Marylebone Area Signalling Centre (and London Underground in the case of Harrow - Amersham); and Virgin Trains East Coast are anticipating being able to run London - Leeds and London - Newcastle.

If the strike goes ahead, you can expect services to start winding down from approximately 15:00 on Monday as operators try to get trains (and traincrew!) into depots and sidings before the strike begins. Service levels on Tuesday (and Wednesday to an extent) will depend on shift changeover times.

Refunds: Assuming the strike goes ahead and you decide not to travel by train at all, you will be able to obtain a full refund for your tickets, with no administration fee being applied, regardless of ticket type. As the strike could be called off right up to the night before, it's advised to do so after the event, as the TOCs are entitled to apply the normal refund rules (which means applying an admin fee of up to £10 for walk-up tickets such as Anytime, Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak, and no refund for Advance tickets) up until it's confirmed as definitely going ahead. Such a request would need to be made to the original retailer within 28 days of the date of travel. Note that this also applies where only one of the legs of the journey would be affected by the strike.

If you've travelled on an open return type ticket and decided not to use the return portion due to the strike, you can claim a refund of 50% of the cost of the ticket (compared to the normal refund rules for such tickets, where the cost of a single ticket is deducted).

Special arrangements apply for season ticket holders, but traditionally this has been a cash refund of 1/5th the cost of a weekly, 1/22nd the cost of a monthly and 1/260th of the cost of an annual (for "odd" period tickets, you use 1/22nd for each whole month, 1/5th for each whole week, and any "odd" days). This is rounded to the nearest penny and paid out in cash.

Compensation: If you still decide to travel by train during the strike and you're delayed, you'll be entitled to claim compensation in the normal way. However, the comparison will be against the emergency timetable, as loaded into journey planners at 10pm the day before travel, rather than the normal timetable.

Keep an eye on the @cfconvention and @CFzLive Twitter accounts, as I'll be doing my best to get timely updates out even though we'll be tearing down the con at the time. You may also wish to bookmark this page, which'll show you a virtual departure board for Birmingham International, or this page if you'd like a bit more detail.

Hope that helps,

Southie