GTR disappointed over RMT's latest call for industrial action

Date: 27 Jul 2016

• Station modernisation plans would improve customer service

• All staff affected have been offered a pay rise or additional allowance

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is disappointed by the RMT’s intention to ballot members of station staff for industrial action over its plans to modernise the way it operates 83 of its busier stations on Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink for the benefit of passengers. The ballot comes as talks about proposed changes are still ongoing.

GTR wants to bring staff out from behind the windows and on to the concourse to work where passengers need them most. Renamed Station Hosts, they will provide assistance and help sell tickets for 2,600 hours longer each week than they do today across the franchise.

GTR has consulted widely on these proposals, and plans to introduce the changes via a ‘pilot’ so as to test the plans and monitor their impact. GTR’s proposals will mean that:

Passenger Service Director at GTR Keith Jipps said: “The RMT’s threat of further industrial action is entirely unwarranted and clearly another bid by the union to disrupt passengers and GTR across as many parts of our franchise as possible.

“We have listened to passengers and modified our proposals, addressing the concerns of both London TravelWatch and Transport Focus.

“Our new Station Hosts will be paid more, be able to work in safety and provide passengers with better customer service, but the RMT is not concerned with improving the experience for passengers and are dismissing significant improvements to the terms and conditions for staff.”

BACKGROUND

The RMT has written to GTR announcing its intention to ballot members at stations for industrial action over GTR’s plans to introduce station hosts at 83 of its stations across the Thameslink, Great Northern and Southern routes.

Our plans will give passengers access to well-trained station hosts in the concourse, rather than in a ticket office, who will be available to help customers with all of their queries, providing information, offering assistance and helping sell tickets when needed, all at times of the day and days of the week when currently ticket offices are closed.

Furthermore, we have listened to passengers and modified our proposals. The full range of tickets currently available at ticket offices will now be available for sale at all the stations and we reconfirm that no-one will have to queue any longer than they do today.

Ends

Further details about GTR’s plans are available in this news release from June:

GTR improves station modernisation plans after consultation

And on our websites: www.thameslinkrailway.com/public-consultation www.southernrailway.com/public-consultation .