Salamis Travel Changes 

    30-06-10 

Following a number of members registering a grievance with the company regarding proposed changes to existing travel arrangements and expenses, the company agreed to stage a “collective grievance” with RMT/OILC to deal with the matter. The outcome of that grievance is summarised in a letter from the company which states:

“The Company took advice from both the OCA and our employment lawyers, and there is no breach as you believe. There is no integral change to your terms of employment, and we are still paying the equivalent as an allowance.

It was explained that due to the type of ticket the Company has to book for our offshore employees that the big savings people may associate with Trainline are not available to the Company. Therefore there would not be huge reductions in the allowances employees find they are currently paid.

We also discussed the issue with those employees who do opt to travel by train and the fear that flexibility would be taken away from them. The Company explained that every employee was being contacted to get their preference of either a ticket or an allowance, and for those who opted for the ticket then their ‘usual’ train time was asked for. All tickets will be booked in accordance with the employees request, and the Company will not dictate what time you have to travel to Aberdeen.

We understand that our employees may on occasion have to change their travel arrangements for personal reasons, and this is something the Company can accommodate. If employees have to make changes to their elected train time then they can contact the Travel Desk and have them rebook. The Company will be provided with reports as to how often we are rebooking for employees and if we can see a consistent pattern we shall contact the employee to discuss.

The Company takes onboard the concerns raised, however with regards to the actual grievance we do not agree that there has been any breach of either the OCA or your terms and conditions. As a result your grievance has not been upheld. [our emphasis]

We are going to go ahead and trial this initiative, and we will be happy to discuss any issues people find they are experiencing and take feedback during the trial period of the first month. If it is found that the initiative is not working in terms of savings, and ease of use for our employees then we will of course reconsider and look at other options.”

Your Regional Organiser, Jake Molloy, attended the meeting with a volunteer member of the workforce who had registered a grievance. All of the points members had raised were aired, as the response above from the company reflects. Jake emphasised to the company that if a member approaches the union with a claim to say their normal expenses have been significantly reduced from what they had been receiving previously, then we would support that member in claiming a reduction had occurred. If need be these claims may be progressed all the way to an Employment Tribunal.

Jake also expressed concern about the potential for disciplinary procedures being generated and the administrative burden which he felt might occur as a result of this initiative. As reflected above, the company implied there would not be disciplinary action taken ‘immediately’; instead the company would monitor reports and would only consider taking action where a “consistent pattern” was identified.

So, members are asked to abide by and cooperate with the company “trials” of this initiative and report back any issues or concerns. If significant numbers of concerns are raised we will of course support those members in seeking to resolve matters and protect those affected members.   

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