There’s some respite for passengers at Eastbourne and Polegate Railway Stations.
Planned strike action by station staff, which was due to be held next Wednesday (8 September) has been suspended by the RMT Union. They say this is due to significant progress being made between the Union and Govia Thameslink Rail at ACAS yesterday (31 August).
The core elements of the agreement in the ticket offices and station staffing dispute are as follows:
• The new arrangements will be trialled at eight locations with the pilots closely monitored by the unions
• Ticket offices will remain open and staffed during the trial period
• There will be no extension beyond the trial period without union agreement through a Joint Working Party
• The trials will prevent a situation arising where lone workers are left carrying cash
• There is an absolute guarantee that no jobs will be lost and there will be no changes to terms and conditions. Staff volunteering for the trials will be paid an additional £1000.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said, “It is a testament to the solidarity and determination of our station staff members on Govia Thameslink that we have been able to achieve significant progress in the talks at ACAS that have enabled us to suspend next week’s action. The leverage from the vote for strike action has been pivotal in securing the package of measures that will protect jobs, safety and the services we deliver to the travelling public.
“The separate dispute on the Southern section of GTR over guards and safety remains unresolved and the strike action involving our members next week goes ahead as planned. The union will be focussing all of its efforts on supporting this safety-critical group of members as they continue to fight for safe, secure and accessible services for all.”
A 48-hour strike next Wednesday and Thursday by conductors with Southern is still going ahead as planned.
A Southern spokesperson said, "We are pleased for our passengers that the RMT has called off its planned station staff strike and we look forward to working together to deliver a better railway for everyone.
"While it is good news that this dispute has been suspended, we are disappointed that the dispute with the RMT over changes to the role of Southern conductors remains.
"With two further strikes planned for Wednesday and Thursday next week this means, if the strikes go ahead, on these days we will be operating a contingency strike timetable and passengers are advised to check our website www.southernrailway.com for details."