NRB — Not Really Bothered

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Several cases involving our members have come to light in recent months demonstrating that beyond any doubt certain members of the Oil & Gas UK board are paying lip service to the NRB guidelines that were launched back in February 2009. So you can still be told you're Not Required Back and when you challenge the employers and operators involved, their position seems to be - they are Not Really Bothered about the guidelines.

 Well, we've got news for those employers/operators who aren't bothered with the guidelines - WE ARE! The guidelines were agreed by RMT, OGUK and Unite, to facilitate a fair and just process for any 'proposed' removal of personnel from an installation. OILC/RMT agreed these guidelines in good faith, believing there would be a cultural change and this despicable practice which has plagued the oil industry for many years would be consigned to the dustbin of history! That doesn't seem to be the case though, so your Branch is putting OGUK and the rest of them on notice!

We've had enough of the double speak from certain OGUK members, they are sticking two fingers up at our members and workers across the industry and we aren't having that.

Therefore the Offshore Energy Branch has agreed the resolution below which we hope the OGUK board and the rest will take note of, or else a new low in industrial relations across the UKCS is inevitable. We'll bring you a full report on the NRB situation in the next edition of Blowout, which should be with you in the coming weeks, and we'll let you know just who's at it through our name and shame policy!

Resolution regarding industry practice on NRB: —

The offshore energy Branch calls on the Offshore Energy Sector Regional Organiser to address increasing concerns being raised by members about the application of NRB and report back to the Branch on any progress made.

 This Branch notes the Regional Organiser's invaluable work at the Step Change, WIG, HTFG, and other industry forums, representing our members concerns and promoting OILC/RMT at these events. However, we would also like to register our concerns about the Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) statement dated 23rd March, regarding the NRB guidelines. This Branch records our dissatisfaction with this statement and calls on the Regional Organiser to produce a robust rebuttal of it in the next edition of Blowout.

This Branch has solid evidence of the NRB guidelines failing our members. Therefore, this Branch asks the Regional Organiser to consider his continued involvement with the OGUK groups if there is no improvement in the current situation. The NRB guidelines were agreed by RMT, UNITE T/G section and OGUK, but OGUK are failing to deliver on their part of the agreement. If there is no improvement in this situation, this Branch shall request the Regional Organiser withdraws from participation in events like Step Change, WIG, HTFG, etc, which take up the valuable time of our Regional Organiser.

Furthermore, and if there is no improvement, it is our intention to call on our members, and specifically safety reps, to withdraw support from these events. The Branch believes some of these forums are currently little more than 'talking shops', which are doing little or nothing to improve safety and/or industrial relations. This Branch would also seek solidarity from our colleagues in the UNITE T/G section, meaning the possible joint withdrawal of Regional Organisers and members alike from these events. Should this be considered necessary, full use would be made of all available press and media outlets to publicise this matter.

The Branch therefore requests that the Regional Organiser provides us with a report in June 2010 setting out details of how the current situation is being addressed. If at that stage there is no improvement evident, the Branch shall consult the union's National Executive and General Secretary Bob Crow, to determine a course of action. We believe it is critical OGUK are made aware of the seriousness of the situation and to do this the Branch intends to publicise this resolution which was carried unanimously at the April 8th 2010 Branch Meeting. Signed: Branch Chairman, Branch Secretary

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