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 BRITISH RAILWAYS.

 




RAILWAY STAFF NATIONAL TRIBUNA


DECISION No. 17.





CLAIM FOR INCREASES IN RATES OF PAY OF

CERTAIN LOCOMO'T]V£ GRADES.

14th APRIL, 1955. 


[PUBLlSHED BY THE SPEClAL JOINT COMMITTEE ON MACHINERY OF NEGOTIATION FOR RAILWAY STAF'F, CLIVE HOUSE, PETTY FRANCE, LONDON, S.W.1.]

PRICE 1s. 0d. 




 

 BRlTlSH RAILWAYS

RAILWAY STAFF NATIONAL TRIBUNAL INTRODUCTORY.


1 The Railway Staff National Tribunal was established under Part VI of the Appendix to the Memorandum of Agreement dated 26th February, 1935, known as the "Machinery of Negotiation for Railway Staff, 1935 ", made between the GreatWestern, London Midland and Scottish, London and North Eastern, and Southern Railway Companies and the National "Union of Railwaymcn, the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, and the Railway Clerks' Association.

2. The function and duty of the Railway Staff National Tribunal is to hear and decide, in respect of employees to whom the Machinery of Negotiation is applicable, issues as to Standard salaries, wages, hours of duty and other standard conditions of service, which have been agreed, or decided in the prescribed manner, to be Issues of major importance, and which have been previously considered by the Railway Staff National Council.

3. The following constituted thc Railway Staff National Tribunal durmg the consideration of the present case -

Sir John Forster, K.B.E., Q.C., Chairman.
Mr. A. L. Trundle, O.B.E., F.C.I.S., selected by the British Transport Comm
ission.

Sir Luke Fawcett, O.B.E., selected by the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen.

4. It is provided in the Machinery of Negotiation that at the desire of the parties to the Issue the Tribunal may be assisted by representatives of the parties silting as Assessors. On the present occasion the Assessors were:-

Nominated by the British Transport Commission: Mr. R. Burgoyne.

Nominated by the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen :

Mr. N. A. Pinches.

5. Under the procedure prescribed by Part VI of the Machinery of Negotiation for Railway Staff, 1935, the terms of reference and the statements of claim and defence were forwarded to the Tribunal and the Tribunal were requested to hear the parties. 

 

 6. The terms of reference were as follows:-

To ask the Railway Staff,National Tribunal, established under Appendix, Part VI, to the Agreement in regard to the Machinery of Negotiation for Railway Staff dated 26th February, 1935, to hear and decide the following claim of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen:-

That the rates of pay of the following grades should be increased to the amounts shown:-

Adult Engine Cleaners:

1st year 135s. 0d per week, & 2nd year 137s. 0d per week.

Firemen and Assistant Motormen

1st year 146s. 6d, 2nd year 156s 6d per week, & 3rd year 166s. 6d. per week.

Shed Engineme(Clause 6Appx. "C ", R.E.C. Circular Letter 1937, elate29tAugust1919

146s. 6. per week

Drivers and Motormen: 

1st year 180s 6d. per week, 2nd year 190s. 6d. per week, & 3rd year 200s. 6. per week

Shed Enginemen (Clause 6Appx. "C ", R.E.C. Circular Letter 1937, elate29tAugust1919

180s. 6. per week

Engine Cleaners who have carried out the appropriate number of firing turns representing one year

Firemen and Assistant Motormen who have carried out the appropriate number of driving turns representing one year 

146s. 6d. per week

London Rent Allowance:

Men covered by the above application stationed places within a radius of ten miles of Charing Cross to receive the London Rent Allowance of 3s. per week.

7. The Tribunal heard the Parties on 4th April, 1955. Mr. A. Hallworth submitted the case on behalf of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, and Mr. W. P. Allen, C.RE., replied on behalf of the British Transport Commission . 

 

 PART I.

RAILWAY STAFF NATIONAL TRIBUNAL. 

Decision No. 17, dated 14th April, 1955.


1. During the present hearing the Tribunal have had to consider a claim presented by the Associated SocIety of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen.

2. The claim is set out in the terms of reference in paragraph 6 of the introductory part of this Decision and is, briefly, for increases and rates of pay of certain Locomotive grades.

3. The staff covered by the claim are as follows:- 

Drivers and Motormen                                                   40,789 

Firemen and Assistant Motormen.                                 36,553 

Adult Engine Cleaners                                                     2,182 

Shed Enginemen’s Mates                                                     18 

Shed Enginemen                                                                  13 

Shed Chargemen, Category "A "                                         87

79,642


4. Rates of pay of the grades covered by the present claim were the subject of Decision No. 16 of the Railway Staff National Tribunal dated 15th November, 1954. The present claim arose out of discussions about the rates of pay of Conciliation and Salaried staff which had resulted from the recommendations contained in a Report dated 3rd January, 1955, of the Court of Inquiry set lip to inquire into a dispute between the British Transport Commission and the National Union of Railwaymen

 

5. A joint meeting between the British Transport Commission, the National Union of Railwaymen and the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen was held on 13th January, 1955, to consider the rates of pay of Locomotive grades consequent upon changes which had been made, or were being made, in respect of other Conciliation and Salaried staff. At that meeting the British Transport Commission offered to adjust the rates of pay for Locomotive staff as follows:

Adult Engine Cleaner: 

1st year 133s. 0d. per week, & 2nd year 135s. 0.d

Engine Cleaner (After number of firing turns have been worked representing one year) 

145s. 0d.

Fireman and Assistant Motorman

1st year 145s. 0d. per week, 2nd year 154s 0d. per week & 3rd year 164s. 0d per week (Max.)

Fireman (after the prescribed number of driving turns have been worked prescribed year) 175s. 0d

Driver and Motorman: 

1st year 175s. 0d. per week, 2nd 185s. 0d. & 3rd year 195s 0d. (Max.)

Shed Chargeman Category  “A” 175s. 0d
Shed Engiineman 175s. 0d.
Shed Engiineman’s Mate 145s. 0d.

A London rate of 3s. 0d. higher than the provincial rate to be applied to Engine Cleaners employed in London.

The National Union of Railwaymen indicated their willingness to accept the offer but the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen were not prepared to do so and subsequently submitted the present claim.

6. A meeting between the Railways Staff Conference, the National Union of Railwaymen and the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen was held on 11th February, 1955, when the British Transport Commission intimated their inability to meet the Society's claim but renewed their offer of 13th January. The National Union of Railwaymen repeated their willingness to accept the Commission’s offer but the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen again declined. On 22nd February, 1955, the Society’s claim was considered by the Railway Staff National Council and, no agreement being reached, was then referred to the Railway Staff National Tribunal.

 

7. In examining the claim, the Tribunal have had before them the evidence and arguments presented by the parties both in a series of documents and orally. The main arguments advanced by the Society in support of their claim may be summarised as follows:-

(1) the rates of pay awarded under Decision No. 16 of the Railway Staff National Tribunal created certain cash differentials which should be maintained. These differentials were in respect of rates of pay for the Cleaner in relation to the adult minimum rate, for the Fireman in relation to the Cleaner and for the Driver in relation to the Fireman;

(2) the basis of the claim is related to the increase applied to the adult minimum rate as from 10th January, 1955;

(3) acceptance of the proposals of the British Transport Commission for adjusting rates of pay for Locomotive staff would inevitably mean acceptance of a serious fresh distortion of relativity.

8. The main arguments advanced on behalf of the British Transport Commission may be summarised as follows:-

(1) Decision No. 16 of the Railway Staff National Tribunal fixed rates of pay for Locomotive staff as appropriate rates for the duties they had to perform, having regard to their skill, the nature of the service they rendered· and the conditions under which their duties are performed: there has been no change in these duties or responsibilities since this Decision was made;

(2) the British Transport Commission do not agree that any change in n given minimum rate must be reached in the rate paid in the highest wages grade in their service;

(3) the proposals of the British Transport Commission for adjusting rates of pay for Locomotive staff were consistent with what was offered to other Conciliation grades and were acceptable to the National Union of Railwaymen.

9. The Tribunal have given careful consideration to the statements and submissions of the parties. THEY FIND against the claim of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen but in favour of the offer made by the British Transport Commission on 13th January, 1955, which is set out in paragraph 5 above, the new rates to be applied with effect from Monday, 10th January, [955 (i.e., In respect of all turns of duty commencing after midnight on Sunday, 9th January, 1955). 


(Sgd.)JOHN FORSTER, Chairman.

(Sgd.) LUKE FAWCETT. 

(Sgd.) A. L. TRUNDLE. 

14th April, 1955 

 

 PART ll.

TIlE CASE OF THE ASSOCIATED SOCIETY OF

LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERS AND FIREMEN


1. The statement submitted on behalf of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen intimated that the Society based its claim on the following arguments:-

(i) that Railway Staff National Tribunal Decision No. 16 gave differentials to Locomotive staff amd Motormen based on the rates operative at that time in respect of other grades;

(ii) that such Decision restored to a degree the relativity in the wages structure;

(iii) that the current rates of pay for Locomotive staff and Motormen were out of perspective with current rates in the railway industry for other grades in the light of Railway Staff National Tribunal Decision No. 16;

(iv) that the claim was directly related to Decision No. 16 and the differentials awarded to Locomotivemen at that time.

2 It was intimated that in the aggregate there are between 79,000 and 80,000 railway staff employed in the grades of Engine Drivers and Motormen, Firemen and Assistant Motormen, Engine Cleaners, Shed Enginemen and Shed Enginemen's Mates, the overwhelming majority of these being members of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen; the line of promotion being from the starting grade of Engine Cleaner (usually entered at or about the age of 16) to the position of Fireman and in due course from Fireman to Driver.

3. Promotion is on the basis of seniority, subject to the passing of medical, optical and technical tests, and the Motormen are recruited from the ranks of those who have reached the position of steam Drivers.

4. Brief reference was made to the key duties performed by these grades and the arduous conditions under which their duties arc carried out, the subject not being enlarged upon having regard to this claim being one which in the view of the Society was related to the Tribunal Decision No. 16 and, therefore, the subject matters had already been exhaustively dealt with, but it was pointed out that reference could be made to paragraphs 12 to 23 of Part 11 of Decision No. 16. 

 

5. The cash differentials awarded in Decision No. 16 were consequent upon a mass of evidence submitted by the parties embracing in its scope the general wage structure of the Conciliation grades as a whole; and the fundamental issue now brought by the Society before the Tribunal was that those cash differentials should be maintained.

6. In the view of the SocIety the said differentials had hardly commenced to operate before a determined attempt had been made to overset them.

7. Reference was mnde to the terms of settlement dated 16th December, 1953, agreed by the Transport Commission and the

Unions respectively, in connection with the then existing railway dispute and the importance of paragraph 2, which reads:-

"The British Transport Commission are prepared to examine with the Trade Unions their whole wage and salary structure. The British Transport Commission contemplate that this examination would be completely exhaustive, without conditions of any kind. Its purposes would be to correct anomalies and give added incentives including differentials in desirable cases; and to investigate all standard rates of pay ."

8. The paragraph quoted has formed the basis of all the negotiations that have taken place on railway wages since the Interim agreement on a 6 per cent. increase operative from 24th January, 1954, right down to the present hearing, and stress was laid on this feature having regard to its vital relevance to the issue and because of attempts to minimise it or to evade it altogether, both before and after Decision No.16. A quotation was gIven from Mr. Baty's statement at the hearing leading up to the latter decision wherein he contended for the Society that the wage rates of Locomotivemen constituted by far the most glaring and grievous anomaly in the whole structure, an anomaly crying aloud for rectification.

9. It was stated that Railway Staff National Tribunal Decision No. 16 was not easily accepted by the Society’s Executive Committee having regard to the fact that their full claim had not been conceded by the Tribunal; but acceptance had in fact been decided upon in view of the fact that the nature of the Tribunal finding endorsed to a worth-wiled degree, from the practical standpoint, the arguments which had been advanced; a measure of rectification had been awarded in relation to the gross anomaly in the wages structure.

10. It was pointed out that there had been no vacillation or inconsistency on the part of the Society in any of the negotiations; whereas the British Transport Commission, on the other hand, on the 24th November, 1954, indicate’ their preparedness to accept Decision No. 16, only to try on 13th January, about nine weeks later, to jettison its principles. 

 

11. Mention was made of the Court of Inquiry set up by the Ministry of Labour, which Court sat on the 30th and 31st December, 1954, under the Chairmanship of Sir John Cameron; and of the comments made to the Court by Mr. Baty on behalf of the Society, outlining the history of earlier wages negotiations and making reference to the fact that the Tribunal when arriving at Decision No. 16 was in full possession of all the facts and in full knowledge of the Society's claim of relativity and the disturbance that had occurred as a result of flat-rate advances. He had also mentioned that the Society would be watching every development because of its intention to see that relativity was not again distorted; that in regard to Engine Cleaners a rate of 127s. had been agreed, and that it was and is the contention of the Society that the Engine Cleaner's position is unique so far as the people at the bottom are concerned. It was further pointed out to the Court that in National ·Wages Board Decision No. 119, at special rate was awarded to Engine Cleaners over and above the minimum adult rate of pay; that at the time of the Court of Inquiry the Engine Cleaners were in receipt of 2s. more than the minimum adult rate of pay then operating; so that even the Cleaner had been dealt with on the basis of relativity.

12. It was pointed out by the Society that meetings were held with the Chairman of the Commission on the 7th January, 1955, and with the Deputy Chairman on the 10th January and that on the 13th January a further meeting took place with the Commission’s representatives when proposals were made by the Commission arising from adjustments which were being made by them in the rates of pay of other Conciliation grades following the Court of Inquiry report.

13. At all these meetings the position of the Society was made clear that they expected the differentials awarded in Decision No. 16 to be maintained in ally adjustments to be made.

14. The proposals of the Commission were somewhat of a shock and were rejected; and there was submitted to the Management in writing the claim now before the Tribunal. The Society’s application had been considered a meeting with the Railways Staff Conference held on the 11th February  1955, and by the Railway Staff National Council on the 22nd February, 1955; but no agreement could be reached thereon, and, therefore, the application was agreed to be referred to the Railway Staff National Tribunal.

15. The grade of Cleaner was referred to in respect of the differential over the adult minimum rate as awarded in Decision No. 16; such differential, it was contended, was deliberately given having regard to the calibre and type of individual intending to become a Driver, such individual being expected to familiarise himself, among other things, with the elementary principles of the mechanism of locomotives, the various classifications of engines, the rudiments of fire construction, the function and purpose of engine tools and appliances, the technique of locomotive inspection, shed regulations, head lamp codes, and rules for signals and shunting. Thus In the starting grade the young Cleaner commenced nn arduous apprenticeship of a length not even dreamed of on any outside industry or service.

 

16. Reference was made to the unattractiveness of the duties of the Cleaners and the serious aggravation by the current generally filthy condition of engines, a factor to some extent at least admitted by the advocate of the British Transport Commission before the previous Tribunal.

17. The Society stated that they were asking in respect of the Cleaner for the maintenance of the margin of 2s. over the minimum adult rate, which claim it was considered upheld Decision No. 16.

18. Details were supplied as to how the rates claimed for the Fireman and Assistant Motorman, and for the Driver and Motorman, were involved, all being based on the differential which the Society contended had been established as a principle by Decision No. 16.

19. So far as concerned Shed Engincmen and Shed Engincmcn's Mates there would not appear to be any conflict with the British Transport Commission that such should continue on the principle already obtaining in regard to the payment of first year Driver's and first year Fireman's rates respectively.

20. In conclusion the Tribunal was asked, firstly, to maintain for the Cleaner over and above the general adult minimum the small differential which had been previously conceded and, secondly, that the differentials already laid down by the Tribunal in Decision No. 16 in respect of the Fireman in relation to the Cleaner, and the Driver in relation to the Fireman, should be confirmed. .It was stated that the claim of the SocIety was logical, sound and just; that it asked for nothing new but rather sought only the maintenance of the operation of principles already conceded; the Transport Commission's offer on the other hand would, it was contended, distort anew and seriously, to the detriment of the Locomotive grades, a wages structure which had been awarded to those grades by the Railway Staff National Tribunal.

21. Reference was made to the Commission's desire, as expressed in their Annual Report for 1953, for “a loyal, keen and contented staff ", and it was stated that that desire (in which the Society shared) rendered all the more incomprehensible the opposition of the B.T.C. to a claim of such a nature as that which was now before the Tribunal.

22. It was requested that the rates of ·pay claimed should operate as from 10th January, 1955, this being the date upon which the change took place in the minimum rate. 

 

THE REPL Y OF THE BRITlSH TRANSPORT COMMISSION.


1. On behalf of the British Transport Commission reference was made to the events leading up to the submission of the case to the Tribunal. These events stemmed from Decision No. 15 of the Tribunal dated 3rd December, 1953, and from the agreement between the British Transport Commission and the Trade Unions which was made following that Decision

2. The immediate background to the case, however was that as a result of the recommendations contained in the interim Report of the Court of Inquiry which sat m December, 1954, under the chairmanship of Sir John Cameron, Q.C. (Cmd. 9352), a number of discussions took place with all the Trade Unions representing Railway Salaried and Conciliation staff in January and February, 1955. The question of the rates of pay of Drivers, Motormen, Firemen and Cleaners was considered at a joint meeting between representatives of the Commission and of the National Union of Railwaymen and the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen on 13th January, 1955, when an offer was made by the Commission’s representatives to adjust the rates of pay of these grades consequent upon changes which had been made, or were being made, in the rates of pay of other Conciliation and Salaried staff.

3. This offer was accepted by the National Union of Railwaymen but was rejected by the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen, who thereupon submitted proposals for adjustments in the rates of pay of the staff in question on the basis of the claim now before the Tribunal. These proposals were discussed at the appropriate stages of the Machinery, when the Commission renewed the offer that they had made earlier but declined to advance upon this offer. No agreement was reached, as a result of which the cl:\lm of the Society was referred to the Tribunal for determination.

4. The main arguments advanced by the Society in support of their claim were that it was submitted in order to maintain the differentials for which provision was made in Decision No. 16; that it was rented to the increase applied to the minimum rate for adult Conciliation staff as from 10th January, 1955; and that the minimum rate for adult Cleaners should be adjusted in accordance with Decision No. 16 and the rates of the other grades included in the claim fixed in relation to the differentials established i'll that Decision.

5. As against this, it was the contention of the Commission that Decision No. 16 fixed rates for Locomotive staff appropriate to the duties such staff have to perform, having regard to the skill, nature of the service rendered and the conditions under which are performed. There had been no change in tllcse duties since the Decision was made. The Commission did not accept that Decision No. 16 established rates for Locomotive staff on the basis of relativity with rates already agreed for other sections of Conciliation staff. In the proceedings leading up to Decision No. 16 the Tribunal were not asked to express views on the appropriateness of the rates of pay of other Conciliation grades and they confined their Decision to the rates they thought appropriate for Locomotive staff.

 

6. In short, it was the Commission's view that the Tribunal, in Decision No. 16, awarded what they felt to be appropriate rates of pay for Drivers, Firemen, Motormen and Cleaners in the light of the submissions made to the Tribunal and not on the basis of relativity with the rates of pay of other Conciliation grades.

7. In considering the contention of the A.S.L.E. & F. as to the basis upon which the revised rates for Locomotive staff as set out in Decision No. 16 were determined, it was, in the view of the Commission, necessary to have regard to the main contentions which were put to the Tribunal at that time.

8. Almost the whole of the case of the Society had had reference to the submission that the rates then claimed were necessary to provide for the staff concerned a reasonable remuneration for the work performed with all that it entailed.

9. It was recognised that the Tribunal had before it at the time particulars of the rates then agreed for other ConeJiiation staff but the document setti.ng out these rates had been submitted by the Commission and not by the. Society and, indeed, had hardly been commented upon by the Society during the hearing.

10. A further feature was that the claim then before the Tribunal had been made by the Society in January, 1954. At that time the Society had had no knowledge of what the minimum rate or any other Conciliation grade rate would be as such rates had not then been determined.

11. There could, therefore, have been no question of the claim at that time baving been related to any other Conciliation grade rate.

12. At the hearing which resulted in Decision No. 16, a submission had also been made on behalf of the National Union of Railwaymen and the advocate of that Union had indicated that his claim was based on the submission of the previous year that there should be an increase of 15 per cent. over the rates obtaining immediately prior to R.S.N.T. Decision No. 15.

 

13. It was, therefore, suggested that the two main arguments which were placed before the Tribunal at the previous hearing were that the rates of pay of Footplate staff were inadequate having regard to the responsibilities of their duties and that in accordance with the agreement of December, 1953, further adjustments should be made.

14. A further factor which must not be overlooked was that, in their Decision No. 16, the Tribunal decided that an adult Engine Cleaner should have a rate which was 2s. higher than the minimum Conciliation grade rate outside London but, inasmuch as the 3s. London differential was not applied to the Cleaner, was 1s. less than the minimum Conciliation grade rate in London. This seemed to the Commission to be evidence that the Footplate staff rates had not, in fact, been fixed in relation to other Conciliation grade ratcs.

15. When Decision No. 16 of the Tribunal had been received each of the parties concerned separately considered the recommendations accept the recommendations although they found themselves unable to believe that the rates of pay then recommended were justified. In all subsequent negotiations the Society's representatives were reminded of the views of the Commission on this point.

16. Reference was then made to the events leading up to the establishment of the Court of Inquiry which sat under the chairmanship of Sir John Cameron in December, 1954, and attention was drawn to the recommendations contained in the Interim Report of that Court, particularly paragraphs Nos. 6 and 7, viz.:-

"6. A new factor in the situation was introduced by the Railway Staff National Tribunal Award of 15th November, 1954, in favour of Footplate grades.

7. We consider there is a case for a critical re-examination of all wage rates for Conciliation staff covered by the Agreement of 8th October, 1954."

17. In the final report of the Court, in referring to the considerations which led the Court to the recommendations they had earlier expressed, was included the expression that" in this connection account must particularly be: taken of the: Railway Staff National Tribunal Award No. 16 of November, 1954, which gave increases to adult Locomotive staff ranging from 2s. 6d. to 26s. and was accepted by all the parties concerned ".

18. The position the Commission was in, therefore, was that they had reached some agreement for Conciliation grades other than Footplate staff; their offer for Footplate staff had been amended by Decision No. 16 of the Tribunal and the Court of Inquiry had said that the rates of pay upon which agreement had previously been reached for other Conciliation grades were not satisfactory and that the Court felt that one of the things that should be taken into consideration was Decision No. 16 on Footplate staff. 

 

19. The Commission therefore decided to re-open negotiations with the Unions concerned in an endeavour to give effect to the recommendations made by the Court of Inquiry, as a result of which agreement was reached with the National Union of Railwaymen in regard to Conciliation staff other than Footplate staff, which provided for increases which in most cases approximated to 15 per cent. of the rates existing prior to December, 1953.

20. The negotiations leading to this agreement were no doubt the reason for, but could not be accepted by the Commission as justificntion for, the claim now before the Tribunal. Indeed, If the Commission were to continue facing first a claim for improving the rates of one section of the staff, only to face a claim on behalf of other staff that they should have something more than the first section, followed by a further claim for improvement for the first section, and so on (a process which could fairly be described as “ leap-frogging "), the Commission was placed in an impossible situation.

21. However, in an attempt to ensure that the position of the Footplate staff was properly dealt with, the Commission decided to examine the rates of pay of Footplate staff operative in accordance with Decision No. 16, as a result of which proposals were made to the Unions for further increasing the rates of pay of this section of the staff.

22. The view could have been taken that, on the basis that the Tribunal had determined in November, 1954, what should be the appropriate rates for men in the line of promotion, no necessity arose for the Commission to make any further offer to improve the rates of pay of Footplate staff. The Commission were, however, influenced by the consideration which had to be given to the overall position and by the knowledge that by all reasonable comparisons something more should be done for Footplate staff.

23. The attention of the Tribunal was then dnnvn to the proposals which had been made by the Commission for Footplate staff and the effect of these proposals was described. The proposals had been accepted by the National Union of Railwaymen but not by the A.S.L.E. & F., who submitted the further application now before the Tribunal.

24. In support of the claim the A.S.L.E. & F. had made considerable reference to differentials. In their consideration of the position, however, the Commission h:ld had to have T'cgard both to relativity between the various grades in a department and to certain relationships between departments which had come to be accepted as proper comparisons. 

 

25. Information was placed before the Tribunal of certain of these accepted relationships with the relative positions in 1939, immediately prior to Decision No.15 of the Tribunal, on 4th October, 1954, and as it would obtain if the Commission’s proposals for Footplate staff were accepted. This information, it was suggested, showed that the Commission's offer reasonably maintained the relative position of Footplate grades.

26. It was suggested that it was an entirely unreasonable proposition to submit a case for a certain rate of pay based on thl: responsibilities and the duties of particular grades, as had been done when the case which resulted in Decision No. 16 was placed before the Tribunal, and then to submit it further case based on relationship with lower grade positions whose rates have to be established on a wider basis including national considerations.

27. It was recognised that the present claim was not advanced on the basis of increase in the cost of living or of movement in the index of wage rates, but it was significant to point out that since the Tribunal had determined the rates of pay of Footplate grades in November, 1954, the cost of living index figure had moved by two points at the time the Commission's offer was made and the index of wage rates by one point. The proposal made by the Commission would fully maintain the relative position of Footplate staff rates of pay with either of these bases.

28. The claim of the A.S.L.E. & F. represented a flat rate increase to 8s. per week on all existing Footplate staff rates and if accepted would mean that the rate of pay of the Driver would be determined by any advance given to the lowest rated Conciliation grades in other departments. This was a proposition which, it was suggested, was without men!".

29. The argument advanced by the Society presupposed that Lhe 'tribunal, in theIr Decision No. 16, had consciously established differentials between the rates of pay of Footplate staff and those of certain other Conciliation grades, but it was suggested that, without a complete examination of the rates of pay of those other grades and of the work they perform, it would be difficult to answer such assertion in the affirmative.

30. A furthcr point to which attention was drawn was that the rates of pay of Loeomotivemcn employed by the Lonclon Transport Executive had been referred to the L.T.E. Wages Board who had awarded rates corresponding to those proposed by the Commission for m;lim-line Driver. The findings of this Wages Doard had since been accepted both by the N.UR. and the A.S.L.E. & F. 

 

31 It was not felt to be necessary to make detailed reference to the conditions of service under which Footplate staff were employed or to the various free and reduced rate travelling facilities which are provided for them in common with other Railway staff. These conditions and facilities represented, however, a valuable element which should not be overlooked in considering questions relating to rates of pay.

32. Another point which must not be overlooked was that over 30 per cent. of Engine Drivers and Firemen were daily confined to shunting duties. This meant that only two-thirds of such staff were working trains of any description. Many Drivers and Firemen would reach their maximum rates of pay whilst still confined to shunting work.

33. In conclusion, the position of the Commission was summarised by saying that they could not accept the limited interpretation of the intention of the Tribunal's Decision No. 16 which the A.S.L.E. & F. had suggested should be implied. It must, it was suggestcd, be accepted that the Tribunal had fixcd what they considered to be appropriate rates for the grades in question based on thc duties and responsibilities of those grades. It was recognised that certain circumstances had transpired since the Decision No. 16 which had affected the position of Footplate grades but the Commission could not accept that this necessarily implied that further adjustments were necessary to Footplate grade rates corresponding in amount to the increase granted to another grade. The Commission had put forward proposals which they considered dealt fairly and reasonably with Footplate staff having regard to all the factors which must be taken into account and it was asked that the Tribunal should endorse the offer which had been made on behalf of the Commission. 

 

 

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