Extracted from Engines & Men
By J.R. Raynes

On March 18th 1919,  General Secretary (John Bromley) issued statement to branches, which contained the following :

The first Conference was held at the Board of Trade on February 12th, when our National       Programme was explained in detail to their presentatives of the Government.

Owing to our wages demand being so much higher than that of the N.U.R. for Loco, men, we Were asked to meet and endeavour to agree on one Loco. programme. We agreed to meet the N.U.R. Loco, men only, and did so on two occasions, but were unable to get them to increase their Loco. wages claims. We, therefore, had to proceed  with the two programmes. The highest rate for drivers asked by the N.U.R. was the same as that for signahnen, viz. —15s. per day.

The full Conference again met on February 21st, when the Loco, question was further considered in detail, and we were told that our demands on wages alone meant an annual increase of ; £12,887,775, and the full demands for all railwaymen an annual increase of ;£120,000,000. We again met on February 26th, when it was suggested to us that as much of our claim was based on the increased cost of living, we may consider the advisability of increased wage rates with the continuation of a war wage on a sliding scale, which would disappear as cost of living declined, leaving the higher wage rates for work per- formed. It Was also suggested that a Loco. Sub-Committee should meet to go more closely into our claims, and, if possible, make a recommendation to the next meeting of the full Conference. This was agreed to, and the Sub-Committee, consisting of our own Sub- Committee and myself, two Loco, men from the N.U.R. and their General Secretary, several Loco. Engineers, and three General Managers, met on March 3rd, when certain national wage rates for drivers and firemen were suggested from the other side as a basis of discussion. As these suggestions still contained classification, and the rates were not high enough, we were unable to agree to any recom- mendation thereon. Your E.C., however, later drew up a further suggestion on the lines already indicated, in an endeavour to bring the negotiations to the concrete, which suggestion was submitted to the resumed Conference on March 6th. We were then told that if we could modify our demands on Sunday, overtime, night duty, etc., the Government would be able to offer higher daily rates for Loco. men.

We again met on March 13th, when the discussion on side issues was resumed, and certain offers made for our consideration. I twas then agreed that the case for other grades should have attention for few days, and your representatives withdrew, leaving the N.U.R. to deal for other grades.

Your E.C. submitted counter proposals on the side issues, to be discussed at next Conference, if the other side will offer sufficiently-high wage rates to balance. Hearing that the N.U.R. were breaking off negotiations, your E.C. have notified the Government that nothing must be allowed to delay the negotiations on behalf of Loco, men which this Society, representing the majority of such men, desires brought to a speedy issue.

For purposes of this Conference, the following programme was tabled :


Enginemen and Electric Motormen.
20s. per day (of 8 hours), plus sliding scale increase.

Enginemen or electric motormen reduced to firemen or electric trainmen to suffer no reduction in the above scale.

Firemen and Electric Trainmen.

15s. per day (of 8 hours), plus sliding scale increase.

Any man working as a fireman or electric trainman who has been in the service for 15 years, and not promoted to engineman or electric motorman, to be paid the engineman's or electric motorman's scale.

Firemen or electric trainmen reduced to cleaners or electric train gatemen to suffer no reduction in the above scale.

Cleaners and Electric Train Gatemen. 

10s. per day (of 8 hours), plus sliding scale increase.

Payment When Engaged on Higher Duties.

Firemen and electric trainmen, when employed as enginemen or electric motormen, to be paid as the enginemen or electric motormen. Each turn of duty to be recorded, and after completing 313 turns as such, consecutively or otherwise, or 15 years in the service, which- ever comes first, to be paid the same as enginemen or electric motormen. 

Cleaners or electric train gatemen, when employed as firemen or electric trainmen, to be paid the same as the fireman or the electric trainman. Each turn of duty to be recorded, and after completing 313 turns as such, consecutively or otherwise, or 6 years in the service, whichever comes first, to be paid the same as firemen or electric trainmen.

Cleaners or electric train gatemen, when employed on work other than cleaning, firing, electric trainmen's or electric train gatemen's duties, to receive the wages applicable to the duty they are called upon to perform, or their own rate of pay, whichever is the highest.

The Cost of Living.

The cost of living during October, 1918, shall be the unit.

Every 10 per cent, increase in the cost of living from that date shall warrant a 10 per cent, increase in the standard rate of pay, reductions to be on the same basis.
No reduction in the rate of pay shall take place if the cost of living falls below the October, 1918, Board of Trade returns.

A memorandum of the cost of living at the date of such agreement to be made. The Board of Trade returns to be accepted as the basis of future negotiations for increases or reductions.
Special Rent Allowance.

6s. per week special Rent Allowance to be granted to all men in the London area and in other expensive industrial centres.

Mileage Rates.

120 miles on express passenger trains to be paid for as one day.

96 miles on local passenger trains and express goods trains to be paid for as one day.

All miles run in excess in either case to be paid for at the rate of 10 miles per hour.

Lodging Allowance.

That lodging away from home be abolished ; but if through unforeseen circumstances such is impossible, each man shall have at least 9 hours, but not more than 12 hours, ofE duty away from home, and also receive the following allowances :

If lodged at the Company's expense at a suitable hotel, 4s. per day.

If men provide their own accommodation, 10s. 6d. per day. Men not to be lodged in places where quietness and cleanliness is not maintained, and private lodgings as at present existing to be abolished.

All cases where men are booked off more than nine hours, the men
to be paid at the same rate per day as if they were on duty.


14 days' holiday, with pay, to be allowed to each man after 12 months service.

Meal Times.

That all duties shall be so arranged that a minimum of 30 minutes shall be allowed for the partaking of food between the 3rd and 5th hour of booking on duty, without loss of pay.


That three suits of combination overalls be supplied and laundered at the expense of the Railway Management, one top coat, one reefer jacket,andtwocapstobesupplied. These to be supplied annually.

Ill-Health and Retirement.

Enginemen, Motormen, Firemen, and Electric Trainmen who, from ill-health or defective eyesight brought about by their employ- ment, are taken ofE the footplate, shall be retained in the Company's employment, and be paid not less than the rate of pay they were receiving when taken off the footplate.

All Footplatemen and Motormen shall be compelled to retire from their work after 35 years service, and shall receive not less than two-thirds of their wages as a pension on retirement.
That all rights, privileges, customs, practices, and conditions not affected by the aforementioned wages and conditions shall remain in force as heretofore.

Monday, March 24th, saw the final conference in the renewed negotiations between our representatives, Sir Albert Stanley, and the Railway Executive. The interpretation of the Government's ofier had been decided, and to that extent an agreement was reached.
The representatives of the National Union of Railwaymen and the Associated Society of Locomotive Enginemen and Firemen again met Sir Albert Stanley (President of the Board of Trade) and the Railway ExecutiveattheBoardofTrade. SirAucklandGeddesandSirRobert Home (Minister of Labour) were also present.

At the conclusion of the conference, after seven o'clock, Mr. Bromley said : 

"A general agreement has been reached. It is not a final settlement ; it is only an understanding so far as we have gone. I am more satisfied to-night with the progress that has been made than I have been hitherto all through the negotiations, as we have at last arrived at something tangible.

If the same spirit is kept up during future negotiations as has pre- dominated during the last few days, I am convinced that a final amicable settlement will be arrived at. I think, from the assurances that have been given us by the representatives of the Government, that our members will have nothing to fear from a little more patience. Personally, I feel that what has already been practically agreed upon, if ratified by the Executive Committee of my Society and the repre- sentatives of the other unions, should be immediately put into operation, so that the men could gain the benefit from it at once."

Sir Albert Stanley issued the following statement :

At the meeting between representatives of the Government, the Railway Executive Committee, and the Railway Unions, the whole of the concessions offered by the Government were reviewed, and agreed interpretations arrived at.

These terms now await ratification by the two unions. If ratified, it is agreed that the negotiations on the remaining items in the pro- gramme shall be continued at once, and the Government undertake that every effort will be made to secure a fair and speedy settlement of those items. The following are the agreed interpretations above referred to :

(1) Guaranteed Week.—The standard week's work to consist of 48hours. The standard week’s wages, exclusive of any payment for overtime or Sunday duty, to be guaranteed to all e employees who are available for duty throughout the week. But turns commencing and finishing on Sunday shall form part of the guaranteed week.
In the event of a strike affecting the work of any grade, either generally or in any district, the question of suspending the operation of this article shall be referred to the General Committee to be set up under Article 7 of this memorandum.

Guaranteed Day.—This to be further discussed.

(2) Overtime.—All time worked on weekdays in excess of the standard hours to be paid for at the rate of time and a quarter, each day to stand by itself for overtime purposes.

(3) Sunday Duty.—(Twelve o'clock midnight Saturday to twelve midnight Sunday). Time and a half, without addition to rate for overtime or night duty, the same to apply to Christmas Day and Good Friday. Hours worked on these days in excess of the standard number of hours shall not be computed as part of the hours of work of any other day.

(4) Night Duty (Weekdays).

{a) All ordinary time worked between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. to be paid for at the rate of time and a quarter 

(b) all overtime worked between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. to be paid at an inclusive rate of time and a half.

In all regular duties a period of twelve hours rest to be shown on the rosters at the home station, but in other cases a minimum of nine hours.

(6) Holidays.One week's holiday with pay after twelve months service, to include all casual employees who are regularly employed, without prejudice to those men who already have a longer holiday under their existing conditions of service.

(7) Management.—The negotiating committees of the two unions will be recognised as the medium for dealing with all questions affecting rates of pay and conditions of service while the present negotiations are proceeding. A committee shall be appointed to consider and report :

1. As to the continuance or discontinuance of the Conciliation Boards, consisting of representatives of the Railway Executive Committee and the two unions, to deal with any questions that arise in regard to rates of pay and conditions of service of the men within the conciliation grades, as from the day when these negotiations are concluded and the time until some final arrangement is arrived at in regard to the future position of railways.

2. As to the continuance or discontinuance of the existing Conciliation Boards. When the new Ministry of Ways and Communications is set up, it is the intention of the Government to provide an organisation for and to avail itself fully of the advantages of assistance, co-operation and advice from, the workers in the transportation industry.

(8) The present wages to be stabilised until December 31st, 1919, and any reduction of the War Wages under the agreemtent of November, 1918, to be waived.

With regard to standardisation of rates of pay and the removal of present anomalies, this can be dealt with only in connection with a revision of permanent wages, and, therefore, it is proposed that the present negotiations shall be continued for fixing new standard rates, so as to insure that all men throughout the country shall receive the same payment for the same work under the same conditions.

This will involve a transfer of a part of the War Wages to the Permanent Wage, but the Government agrees that up to December 31st, 1919, no man shall receive less in weekly rate of wage, plus war wage, then he is receiving at present, while anyone to whom the new war wage and new rate yields more than they are receiving at present shall receive the advantage as soon as an arrangement is arrived at.

At the end of the year the whole situation will be reviewed. The war wage will have to be looked at in the light of the circumstances of the time generally, and it will be open to the men to ask for a revision of the new standard rates if they think a case can be made for it, but the anomalies of varying pay for similar work under similar conditions will have been removed, and future negotiations will be rendered much easier through there being only one set of figures to work upon.

(9) Other Items in the Programmes.—These to be discussed at further meetings.
On March 26th the General Secretary reviewed the position in the following terms :

We have now reached agreement on the following side issues, and the agreed improvements will be at once put into effect for the benefit of our members without waiting for the general settlement :

1.—Guaranteed Week, exclusive of a Sunday booking. 

2.Overtime at time and a quarter, each day to stand by itself. 

3.Time and a half for Sunday duty (midnight Saturday to midnight Sunday).

4.—Night duty at time and a quarter for hours worked between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., overtime between these hours at time and a half.

5.One Week's Holiday with pay after 12 months service, without prejudice to those already enjoying a longer holiday.

6.—12 hours rest between booked turns of duty, with a minimum of 9 hours in other cases.

We have obtained an understanding that some arrangement may in future be made towards the men having a voice in management, but as yet it is all very vague and nebulous.

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