1965



1965 MANNING ARRANGEMENTS

FOR LOCOMOTIVES

This was to become one of the most important changes within the history of the footplate 

grades, which resulting in many loco-men being forced out of the industry.

 

 

Above 

Taking water at Brighton loco shed

MR. GRIFFITHS: The claim I am submitting on behalf of my Society is for a 

Productivity Payment for all Footplate Staff. In this connection, I am referring to all 

Drivers, Firemen and Second Men-by Second Men, I mean the man who assists the 

Driver on a diesel or electric traction unit.

It was the strongly-held view of my organisation that this application should be 

conducted separately and apart from any discussion of the question of manning of the 

new forms of traction. Nevertheless, we have agreed with the Railways to a relaxation of 

the Manning Agreement which was reached in 1957.

At a later stage in my argument I would like to enlarge on our opposition to the 

extension of single manning. Meantime I would say that for the information of the 

Court, I have set out in Appendix "A". to my statement particulars of the present 

arrangements so far as the manning of diesel and electric traction is concerned.

May I at this point take the opportunity to express regret in regard to the unofficial action 

taken by members of my Society on certain sections of British Railways. That action was 

determined by the considerable delays which have taken place up to date; and I would 

strongly emphasise that it is due simply and solely to the continued and strenuous efforts of 

my organisation to restrain the feelings of the men that the successive outbreaks have not 

been more wide spread or prolonged than in fact was the case.

It is also regretted that we find ourselves as a Society obliged to submit our claim to this 

Court of Inquiry. It is our view that had reasonable consideration been given by the 

Railways to this matter, it could have been settled a long time ago.

Here I would outline the history of events leading up to the present situation which has 

necessitated our approach to the Minister.

We reaffirmed this view at a further meeting of the Productivity Council held on 28th 

September, 1962, and at a later meeting held on 26th October, 1962, it was agreed that a 

joint Sub-Committee be set up to consider the question of incentive schemes for Freight 

Trainmen. This Sub-Committee agreed that proposals to amend and extend the 

experimental schemes should be discussed with the Trade Unions.

On 23rd January, 1963, at a meeting with representatives of the London Midland and 

Western Regions, proposals by Management were discussed which provided for bonus 

payments of up to £1 per day. I would stress that these proposals were not coupled to the 

question of the manning of locomotives.

Details of these Regional Schemes are attached for information as Appendix "B". We 

informed the Railways on 4th February, 1963, that we would accept them provided that 

their assurances in respect to "no redundancy", given in connection with the schemes 

introduced in 1961, were reaffirmed.

No assurances were given concerning the question of redundancy and consequently no 

agreement was reached on the proposals; but when they were last discussed on 21st May, 

1963, the Railways did undertake to include Shunting Enginemen in bonus schemes in 

marshalling yards-I will refer later to the anomalies arising from this.

In a letter dated 19th June, 1963, the Railways suggested that the time had come to 

review the 1957 Manning Agreement, and at a meeting with the Board held on 24th July, 

1963, they suggested decreasing the existing element of double manning of locomotives.

After very careful consideration, my Society submitted counter-proposals in a letter 

dated 7th February, 1964, which involved an increase in the double manning of the new 

forms of traction.

On 13th February, 1964, we advised the Railways that there was unrest amongst our 

member s in regard to the piecemeal introduction of bonus schemes.

We asked for a meeting to consider this matter, and to discuss an immediate productivity 

payment based on the proposals put forward in January 1963. 

We again wrote to the Railways on 17th July, 1964, asking for an early meeting to 

discuss our claim. The meeting took place on 11th August, 1964when it was agreed that 

a further meeting be arranged.

When we met the Board on 30th September, 1964, they proposed that the application 

should be coupled to the question of the manning of the traction involved.

Many discussions have taken place since that date; but the foregoing, Sir, is a brief 

history of our claim, giving rise to the present difficulty.

I would like now for a moment to refer to the position in relation to manning, and to 

explain how the various types of locomotives are manned. When working a train with a 

steam locomotive, the unit is, of course, double manned. However, with the introduction 

of the new forms of traction, agreement was reached (as set out in Appendix "A") that 

certain trains could be single manned.

We have now reached the stage that if the Railways' proposals are accepted, there will 

come a time when Drivers will have insufficient practical knowledge to work their trains 

with any degree of safety.

I would explain that with respect to steam locomotives, a man starts his career as a 

Cleaner; he is promoted to Fireman and eventually becomes a Driver. 

During his period as a Cleaner and Fireman, he absorbs the knowledge of the locomotive 

in the theoretical sense and he also learns the practical aspects relating to his future 

position of Driver; he is, as it were, conditioned for his future responsibility as a Driver.

Under the Railways' proposals, however, concerning the new forms of traction, he would 

receive theoretical training and be given experience as a supernumerary to the official 

Footplate crew-and this would not give him all the experience necessary to the safe 

working of his train. 

The Management themselves have said that there will be very little training during the 

night hours (a position which I will deal with later). It is in respect of the night hours, 

foggy weather and similar conditions, that a man really needs the most experience. This 

he gets when a reasonable number of trains are double manned.

It will be seen from Appendix "A" that at the moment the Manning Agreement does 

provide for a large number of single manned turns of duty; and if the proposals put 

forward by my Society during the recent negotiations with the Railways are accepted, a 

further substantial number of turns could be single manned.

Our proposals, which we feel should be the absolute maximum so far as the, relaxation 

of the present agreement is concerned, are set out in Appendix “C”. 

I say "absolute maximum" from the viewpoint of safety in particular. I am also 

concerned m regard to the excessive demands which the Railways' proposals will 

Impose upon the Driver.

It will be noted from our suggestions that we are prepared to agree to an extension of the 

aggregate mileage limitation in connection with diesel or electric locomotives which 

work passenger trains (including parcels and empty stock). 

We are prepared to agree to a limitation of 250 miles as against the present 200 miles m 

respect of the aggregate duration of driving single-manned; and to a non-stop distance of 

125 miles as against the present 100 miles. 

With respect to fully-fitted freight trains, we have indicated our agreement to the 

extension of the aggregate mileage limitation from 150 miles to 175 miles and of the 

non-stop running distance from 75 to 90 miles. '

So far as diesel and electric multiple units are concerned we have agreed to extend the 

aggregate mileage limitation from 200 to 250 miles and the non-stop running distance 

from 100 to 125 miles

For this type of traction we have agreed to a relaxation on certain night turns, i.e., those 

trams scheduled to finish between midnight and 2.0 a.m.and trains scheduled to 

commence between 4.0 a.m. and 6.0 a.m.

 PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN 

Above

A scene at Brighton loco sheds, showing the transition from steam to diesel 

All loose-coupled trains are at present double-manned. But we have agreed to these 

trains being single-manned in cases where the aggregate running time is not more than 

100 miles or seven hours per turn of duty, and subject to the non-stop running time not 

exceeding 2 1/2 hours. 

Clauses (iii), (IV) and (v) of our proposals on loose-coupled trains, concerning manning 

during night hours, physical needs break, and coupling and uncoupling, are, of course, in 

line with the arrangements governing other trains worked by locomotives. 

It is my desire to deal with the question of productivity and to refer to the Railways’ 

proposals at the Sub-Committee meeting held on 6th of this month, concerning the 

extension of single manning. 

I would like to explain why we feel that our proposals should be the maximum of any 

extension of the Manning Agreement. 

Firstly, with regard to (1), the limitation of aggregate duration of driving single-manned 

per turn of duty, and (2), the limitation of continuous duration of driving single-manned.

It will, of course, be appreciated that the limitation is varied in accordance with the 

speed of the train. This is accepted by the Railways in so far as their own proposals vary 

in this regard.

On passenger trains (including parcels, empty stock and multiple unit trains) we feel that 

250 miles or 6 hours per turn of duty, and 125 miles or not more than two hours' non-

stop running time, is the absolute limit under which a man should be called upon to work 

single manned.

We also feel with respect to fully-fitted freight trains that the aggregate duration should 

be limited to 175 miles or six hours per turn of duty, and 90 miles or two hours' non-stop 

running time. Freight trains should be limited to an aggregate of 100 

miles or seven hours per turn of duty, and a non-stop running time of 21/2 hours.

So far as hours are concerned there is very little difference between either of the 

proposals, but whilst we suggest mileage limitations of between 100 and 250 miles, 

depending on the type of train, the Railways are seeking between100 and 350 miles.

We are also maintaining that non-stop distances should be limited to between 90 and 125 

miles, depending on the type of train, whereas Management desire a limit between 100 

and 175 miles. 

Loose coupled trains will, of course, limit themselves in regard to non-stop running 

distance, because of the slow speeds of these trains. However, when a man is required to 

drive a train above the limitations proposed by us, we maintain he should be provided 

with a second man. 

Many hours were spent in producing the present agreement, one of the ttributes of which 

is the limitation on the mileage or hours demanded of a Driver working on his own.


ALAN BARTLETT COLLECTION

Above 

Redundant steam locomotives in Montpelier Sidings, Brighton 

We are talking here of a man who is expected to drive a huge and expensive piece of 

equipment at speeds of up to 100 m.p.h.-or, in the case of the slower trains, with 

extremely heavy loads. He is expected to drive in all types of weather and run his train 

to time. We contend that with the heavy concentration required, it is too much to ask a 

man to accept such a great responsibility outside the limitations we have suggested. To 

sit at the controls for a distance of up to 350 miles, concentrating on signals, gradients, 

speed restrictions and the like, including the controlling of the "dead man's pedal", is too 

much to ask of anyone man.

It has been said that the Second Man has very few duties to perform when there is no 

steam heating on the train. Here I would beg to differ. The Fireman or Second Man is a 

second pair of eyes to the Driver; he assists in the observation of signals and is in fact far 

more important to the safe working of the train than the Guard.

You know, Sir, that the weather in this country is not all that we desire; we are subjected 

to frequent falls of heavy rain and snow; it is by no means always a fine clear sunny day; 

we have heavy fog in the winter, apart from many very misty days or nights at all 

seasons of the year. When the weather is not clear a Train Driver, unlike a lorry or bus 

driver, who either travels at a crawling pace or does not travel at all, is required to run at 

exceptionally fast speeds peering into the blackness of the night (or day if foggy 

conditions prevail). This takes a heavy toll, and believe me has a tremendous 

psychological effect. Only the man who travels over long distances in the conditions 

prevailing in this country can really give a true picture of what is involved.

I have had personal experience of working over long mileages and can assure you of the 

very great help and satisfaction obtained by a Driver from having a second pair of eyes 

to assist him In his arduous and most concentrated duties.

Concerning the important matter of the duration of rostered turns: we contend that eight 

hours en a train is more than enough when travelling single-manned.

Here again the heavy physical and mental demands which I have just outlined apply with 

equal force. Incidentally, may I remind the Court that the principle of the eight-hour day 

has been in operation since 1919 so far as my members are concerned.

The present agreement gives adequate provision in regard to the duration of turns as 

rostered. Rosters conform to the eight-hour principle, though in exceptional cases the 

Diesel Headquarters Committee (set up under Clause 6 of the 1957 Manning 

Agreement) can agree to their being extended beyond this period. Indeed, we have been 

party to agreeing many turns of this kind in Circumstances which have warranted such a 

course of action.

The proposals put forward by the Railways in this connection come in fact very near to 

where we would like to be in the interests of all concerned. I suggest that agreement 

could no doubt be reached in this connection.

On the limitation of night hours of duty, my Society and membership feel very strongly 

so far as any proposal to amend the Manning Agreement is concerned.

The relevant clause was one of the most important of any in the 1957 Agreement and it 

was framed after much investigation in the light of medical evidence.

It was established that a man is at is lowest ebb during the hours in question and our 

submission is  that it is unfair ,and indeed does not contribute to safe working, to run 

trains during the night hours with only one man at the front end.

The Management maintained that their evidence now differs from the information in 

their possession in 1956 and 1957. It has in fact been stated that a man who is regularly 

rostered on shift work is not affected by tiredness during the night time.

Even if we accept this contention (which we do not), it has to be emphatically stressed. 

that a Driver works Irregular shifts, and his case, in this respect, as indeed many others, 

has nothing in common with that of regular shift workers m outside industry. 

 

 

  PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN 

Above

The new B.R. Type 3 diesel locomotive, later becoming a class 33


His work is not on the shift basis as generally understood namely 6 0 a m 2.0 p.m. and 

10.0 p.m., or similar hours.

Footplate staff are booked for duty commencing literally at any minute of the twenty-

four hours, and often seven days per 'week. Thus there is no regular pattern m the normal 

sense of shift work.

It is natural for a man to be tired during the hours from midnight to 6.0 a.m. It is 

unnatural for him to be "on top of the world” during these hours however much sleep he 

may have enjoyed during the day. I say "enjoyed'" but in fact everyone who has tried it 

knows that it is difficult to sleep during the daytime, particularly If (as is the usual case) 

there is noise from children and other sources which are not normally so evident at night 

time. 

Frankly, there is no stronger point of disagreement between my Society and the Board 

than exists over our firm contention that in general it is unjust and unsafe to single-man 

trams during the night period in question.

The Board at various meetings have maintained that it is the Second Man who would be 

overcome by tiredness before the Driver. This view we are totally unable to accept. Both 

men of course should be, and are, alert as it is possible to be. We say that as no man 

under the special circumstances I have indicated in relation to the Footplateman's way of 

life, can be 100 per cent during the night hours~ we must maintain the confidence of the 

train crews and. the travelling public alike by retaining the principle of double manning 

during the night hours.

This is our grave concern, and there is no question of our seeking to retain men who are 

not needed. 

Concerning the physical needs break, the present agreement provides for a 30-mmute 

break between the. third and fifth hours of duty. Having regard to all that is involved 

when driving single manned, we maintain it is essential that the principle underling this 

arrangement should continue in operation. 

It is not unreasonable to ask to be provided with toilet facilities during, the specified 

period; nor for a man to be given an adequate break of 30 minutes for this purpose and to 

allow him to take his meal. 

The Railways' present proposals, as set out in the document attached to the R.S.N.C. Sub-Committee Minutes of the Meeting held on 6th September, could form a basis of 

agreement. However, in order to control the position at headquarters' level, all 

exceptional cases (including the turns which can be rostered 10 minutes before the third 

hour or 10 minutes after the fifth hour) should be subject to agreement between the 

headquarters of the Region and the Trade Unions. 

On this understanding my Society is prepared to agree to a relaxation of the present 

arrangements, and we will assist in every way we can.

The Railways have said that where it can be proved that P.N. Breaks rostered outside of 

the limits can be brought within the third and fifth hours, they will make the necessary 

alterations; and we for our part maintain that in this modern age it should be possible for 

the Railways to devise a rostering arrangement which would bring almost all Physical 

Needs Breaks within that period.

It should not normally be necessary for the Trade Union to advise the Railways as to 

how to re-roster their diagrams. I would, however, say that of course we are quite 

prepared to co-operate where appropriate, and in cases 'where it is considered 

impracticable to roster a break between the third and fifth hours of duty, the turn in 

question could be the subject of an early meeting at headquarters' level. On this latter 

point we feel very strongly, because where authority is given to the local people to 

administer an agreement such as is suggested in the Railways' proposals, they are in fact 

prone to take the easy way out, and in connection with this matter would be inclined to 

roster many P.N. Breaks to commence before the third hour or to terminate after the 

fifth. 

As an example of this, the Board are allowed, in accordance with Statutory Instrument 

1962 No. 183, to utilise young persons on night duties. 

The exemption from the appropriate provisions of the Factory Act relating to the 

employment of young persons at night was based on the premise that such persons 

would only be rostered on night duty in cases where it was impracticable to run the 

service and cover all the turns of duty by adult staff.

Our attention was, however, drawn to the fact that these young people were, contrary to 

this principle, being rostered on night duty on a very large scale; and it was necessary for 

us to meet the Board with a view to their instructing their local people to adhere to the 

spirit and- Intention of the arrangement in question.

The Board have produced isolated rosters in which it would be impracticable to provide 

a break between the third and fifth hours. We maintain that these rosters should not be 

taken in isolation; we say they should be examined with other rosters in order to 

ascertain whether or not they could suitably be amended.

May I add that the Southern Region Electric Drivers were given the facility we are here 

seeking, long before the present 

Manning Agreement was introduced; and they do not appear to have experienced any 

difficulty in that connection. 

Before dealing with the further items referred to in the Annexure, I should t this point 

emphasise that it is the opinion of my organisation that the majority of the Railways’ 

proposals are essentially bound up with the question of rostering.

We feel that the diagram department is inadequate; that in this modern age a more 

intelligent approach could be made in this regard.

The whole of Section "A" of the Annexure could be adequately covered by more 

intelligent rostering if taken in conjunction with the proposals put forward by my 

Society. 

A Driver working single-manned for a distance of 350 miles would require a payment 

equal to 24 hours for that particular duty. On the other hand, if that journey were worked 

in two stages by two successive Drivers, they would each require payment equal to 

12 1/2 hours, and the cost to the Railways for that same mileage would be 25 hours' pay. 

(That is, of course, based on the proposals set out in Appendix "D" to the Minutes of the 

meeting held on 6th September last.)

Surely, in a case of that description, in which the saving is only in the region of an hour 

or so, the Railways do not seriously insist on a Driver undergoing the extreme pressure 

of covering a distance of 350 miles in one day, possibly five or even six days a week.

We read in the daily press of the absenteeism in the coal mines. This is a feature which is 

not at the moment prevalent on British Railways so far as Footplatemen are concerned. 

However, if we adopted the Railways' proposals on mileage limitation, the strain and 

effort required would, in our submission, be well-nigh unbearable for the men involved, 

and I am confident that they would develop an outlook which does not exist amongst 

these most conscientious men today.

Turning now to the matter of locomotives running light; in our view the agreement

 presently obtaining gives the Railways all the scope that is desired or is necessary.

It is, of course, sensible and appropriate to provide a Footplateman to perform footplate 

duties, and we can see no reason for extending the agreement.

The proposals put forward by the Board give too much scope to the people responsible 

for local arrangements, who would undoubtedly take undue advantage of the position.

It has been suggested that where the journey of a locomotive running light comprises 

part of train or trip working, the Second Man could be a Guard or Shunter. May I 

therefore draw attention to the fact that under such an arrangement it would be possible 

to utilise men from either of the two last-mentioned grades, both outside the Footplate 

line of promotion, on a journey of, say, a distance of up to 40, 50 or even more miles.

Quite apart from the fact that a Shunter may not be experienced in working one 

particular section of line, it is just not sensible on general grounds to have such an 

arrangement. We could and would get to a position in which men in one grade would be 

performing the duties of another grade for which they may not be qualified either by way 

of training or even in the physical 

sense from a main-line point of view.

The Railways may say (as indeed they have done during negotiations) that to bring a 

locomotive to a depot after a journey, it would be necessary for them to provide a brake 

van for the Guard if their proposals are not accepted. We cannot accept that this would in 

fact be necessary in the majority of cases. To explain this more fully: it is the intention of 

the Board to close the majority of depots as we know them today. They intend to have a 

minimum number of depots supplemented by booking on and off points. These points 

will, in most cases, be adjacent to the Marshalling Yards where the locomotives will be 

stationed. 

It therefore follows that with proper rostering the trains can commence and terminate 

where the locomotive is berthed.

Any amendments to the present agreement must essentially be designed for the future-

when the Railways are fully electrified or dieselised-and I am sure the Board will agree 

that this is so.

It will therefore be appreciated that the greater part of light engine working, so far as the 

actual working of trains is concerned, will be negligible; and where it is necessary to use 

a locomotive from one of the main depots? there will be sufficient men in the line of 

promotion to accompany the Driver to the traffic yard.

The utilisation of the men in the line of promotion to Driver will serve two purposes; 

firstly, they will man the light engine as men who are properly qualified to do so and, 

secondly, it will assist in giving them experience m the light of their future employment 

as Engine Drivers.

We fully agree with the Board's proposals regarding locomotives working rafts of 

vehicles on or across main lines, and would have no objection to discussing, any 

particular case with the Region.

The Board's proposals in regard to the manning of Station Pilots are also acceptable to 

my organisation, and this again applies to the proposals on Dock Working, which are in 

line with the present arrangements.

With reference to coupling and uncoupling, and to steam heating apparatus: here again 

we have no quarrel with the Railways. 

On the latter subjects. It would obviously be impossible for a Driver to attend to the 

steam heating apparatus and drive his train at the same time.

I need say no more on either of the two points as we fully concur m this section of the 

Board's proposals.

It will be noted in Clause 5 (c) of the Annexure to the R.S.N.C. Sub-Committee Minutes 

of 6th September, under the heading of Staffing Arrangements, that provision is made for 

the protection of -the position of Firemen and Cleaners, arising from the introduction of 

a relaxation of the Manning Agreement.

We have maintained that such provision should also include men who are surplus to 

requirements, arising from modernisation and associated developments.

The introduction of new forms of traction, the speeding-up of trains, the increased 

loading of trains, are all factors which contribute to redundancy, and in many cases it 

will be too difficult to differentiate as between one case of redundancy and another.

Furthermore, the closing of depots and transfer of work from one depot to another is 

causing great hardship to our members. 

The wholesale closure of depots is now taking place, and having regard to the 

Withdrawal of services, men are experiencing extreme difficulty in travelling to work at 

their new depot.

Difficulty also constantly arises in obtaining housing -accommodation at the new depot 

or Signing-on point, resulting in men with 30 and 40 years' service finding it necessary 

to leave the service. 

We must retain the younger men and the only way to do this is to guarantee their future 

position in the line of promotion. The next three items, namely, Rates of Pay and 

Compensating Arrangements; Incentive Schemes; and Increased Mileage Payments, are 

all related items and I would prefer to deal with them collectively and following a 

general reference to the question of Productivity.

We accept that Productivity Payments must, of course, be related to productivity. But we 

submit also that Footplate Staff have already been contributing to increased productivity 

for a long period of time-and will continue to do so with the faster timings and more 

economical rostering-but no additional payment has been forthcoming on a national 

basis.' 

When the present Manning Agreement was introduced, no additional payment was 

introduced by way of productivity payment, although the savings to the Railways must 

have amounted to many millions of pounds per annum.

When Mr. Guillebaud and his Committee conducted the exercise which resulted in the 

1960 rates of pay agreement, they carefully examined all grades, taking into 

consideration the type of. work and responsibility of the men concerned. As a result they 

decided-quite rightly-that the Driver's work and responsibility merited his being placed 

in the highest category of Conciliation grades.

However, we now have the invidious position in which men with a basic rate of some £5 

per week less than that of a Train Driver are receiving as much or, in some cases, more 

wages for an 8-hour day than the Driver.

The majority of men in the line of promotion, and certainly all Drivers, have years of 

service behind them; they are doing responsible and arduous work, have a wealth of 

experience and knowledge, and conform to a rigid medical and practical examination. 

Yet in many of the other grades men are receiving bonus payments after a very limited 

time in the service, and in the majority of cases these men do not require the same 

medical' standard as a Driver and are not required to have the technical knowledge arid 

the experience required of a Driver.

In the Footplate grade itself we have anomalies; a Driver could be reduced in grade to a 

Shunting Driver, and such reduction could actually result in a substantial increase in 

earnings by way of bonus payment.

We have drawn the Railways' attention to cases in which a man could work an express 

passenger train in foggy conditions and receive only a nominal extra payment of 2s. by 

way of mileage, whilst on the following day he could be employed on shunting duties 

and receive upwards of 18s. as an additional payment.

There can be no doubt that quite apart from the proposals on Manning, Footplate Staff 

have in no small way contributed to increased productivity, and continue to do so.

In 1964 the Railways had 9,633 locomotives; they expect in the near future to work all 

trains with a fleet of 5,375 diesel or electric locomotives.

They cannot do this without the full co-operation of Footplate Staff, who are required to 

learn how to drive these new forms of traction and be repaired to perform minor repairs 

(they get no extra payment for this additional knowledge).

To run the Railways with a limited fleet as envisaged, they must increase the load and speed of the train; again a case in which a Driver receives 'no additional payment in respect of the additional loading and speed,
The Railways now run 1,100 "Company" freight trains' a week-350 more than a year ago. These trains carry complete train-loads of individual customers' products and 1,000 of them have a payload of 500 tons each. 
Last year there were about 150 trains a week carrying petroleum products; today there are well over 300 of these trains carrying full loads. Payloads on these trains amount to as much as 1,200 tons a train.

The Railways have introduced "Export Express" services, giving a "next day" delivery to 
the major ports.

They are quickly developing "Car Carriers"; at present these carry full loads of 75 motor 

vehicles, It is the intention to introduce trains of this type with a carrying capacity of 125 

motor cars, travelling at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour. 

This is true productivity, separate and apart from any reference to the Manning 

Agreement.

Productivity is based on output. If a man involved in a bonus scheme in a factory 

produces more than the "norm" he receives a higher payment. If a platelayer exceeds a 

certain quota, he receives additional payment. In fact, a platelayer in a normal working 

week can increase his earnings by over £3 per week and receive a higher payment than a 

Fireman who may have many years' service and experience behind him.

Again we have referred the Railways to other anomalies such as Fitters' Mates, who in 

some cases can receive, without overtime, a higher payment than a main-line Driver.

I am sure this is a position which would not be tolerated in outside industry, either by the 

management or by the men. Here you have a skilled Driver, who has been in the service 

for many years; he is required to reach a very high eyesight and general physical 

standard, have a wealth of knowledge with respect to the traction he drives and the roads 

over which he travels, and he must be prepared to work in all types of weather 

conditions. Yet a man could come almost "off the street" and without overtime receive 

higher pay than such a skilled key worker. '

Engine crews are working to capacity; they are not wasting time going back to the shed 

to prepare and dispose of the engine to anywhere near the extent which applied in the 

case of the steam locomotive. For the major part of a Train Driver's turn of duty 

he is engaged on productive work; he should be paid accordingly.

It has been said by the Management that they cannot accept that the earrings of a 

particular grade can be compared with the earnings of another grade, I agree with that; I 

do not agree, however, that a Train Driver with all his responsibility and knowledge, 

coupled with his contribution to productivity, should be earning no more than a man in a 

much lower grade. Such a position is frankly untenable.

Guillebaud classified Drivers; he recommended that Train Drivers should receive more 

than Shunting Drivers. This classification was introduced; but now, instead of receiving 

16s. per week less, a Shunting Driver can in fact earn £3 or £4 per week more than a 

Train Driver.

At a Sub-Committee meeting of the British Railways Productivity Council held on 22nd 

August, 1960, a document was issued in relation to work study in freight yards. In this 

document it was stated as a result of investigations that it was usually evident that 

substantial improvements in freight train timekeeping, earlier release of locomotives to 

depot, quicker clearance of running lines, and reduction in marshalling time, could be 

achieved. These are brought about not by the faster working of the staff but by ensuring 

that they are more continuously employed and ineffective work reduced.

The report lays great stress upon timekeeping, and states that the proposal for incentive 

schemes combines the aspects of timekeeping and labour performance so that 

timekeeping represents two-thirds of the total shunting performance and labour 

performance the balance of one-third.

The point I wish to make here is that it is not the shunting staff who alone contribute to 

timekeeping although it is the shunting staff who receive the additional payment. 

Another point I am stressing concerns the reference to timekeeping which represents 

two-thirds of the shunting performance; surely the same must apply to the actual train 

running,

If the Train Driver through his -skill and knowledge did not run his train to time there 

would be disorganisation in the shunting yards. In addition, if there is a quicker turn-

round in the marshalling yards it follows that there is less wastage of time in respect to 

train running, and therefore greater productivity. 

 

 

 Above

Electic Diesel locomotive, class 73 locomotive



At a meeting of the Productivity Council held on 28th July, 1961', example were given 

of work study schemes which had produced considerable savings.

In example 1 there was a saving of some 270 staff. The scheme produced a net saving of 

£90,000 per annum after paying a bonus to the remaining staff amounting to £94,000 

which gives an average weekly bonus of over £2 per week to each man.

Example 2 showed a saving of 85 men, the remaining staff receiving £23,000 by way of 

bonus with a net saving of £24,000 to the Railways; the staff here again receiving almost 

£2 per week by way of bonus.

Example 6 was very interesting; it showed a slight increase in tonnage handled and 

carted by fewer staff. A Train Driver gets nothing for increased tonnage handled, and so 

far as cartage is concerned, if a diagram is re-rostered to enable the Driver to work 100 

miles instead of 65 miles, he receives an extra 1s per day under the present mileage 

agreement.

On the other hand the staff involved in the scheme set out in the example enjoyed the 

benefit of over 50s. per week in increased earnings (this was four years ago, and the 

rates have probably increased substantially since then).

In table 9 on page 35 of the recent Report on the Development of the Major Railway 

Trunk Routes it is anticipated that a train running at 60 m.p.h. today will be travelling at 

70 m.p.h. in 1984. Trains which now run at 30 m.p.h. (and these represent one-third of 

the total number of trains) will run at 50 m.p.h.-an improvement of 66 2/3 per cent on 

the timing. Eleven per cent of the total number of trains which at present run at speeds 

below 20 m.p.h. will be increased to 35 m.p.h. which represents an improvement of 75 

per cent in timing.

On this basis a Driver at present working a train over a distance of 60 miles, could in 

fact, when his train is speeded up, work 105 miles. For this increased mileage he would 

receive the princely sum of 1s. 6d. under the present Mileage Agreement.

The Management have said, at recent Productivity Council Meetings, that the greater 

power of the diesel and electric locomotives is being exploited to increase train loads. It 

has been stated that these new forms of traction have brought about considerable 

economy in operating costs and have provided increasingly accelerated services over the 

last five years.

Special emphasis has been placed on the excellent co-operation from the staff and Trade 

Unions, especially in connection with the retraining of Footplate Staff.

Great stress has been laid upon the important role which Liner-Trains will play in the 

future of British Railways-a Driver working one of these important trains over a distance 

of say 130 miles would at the moment only receive an additional 

payment of 2s. 6d.

It is our submission that the facts speak for themselves-and they are facts which are 

causing a tremendous amount of unrest among my Society's member grades. These men, 

conscious as' they are that productivity per man has considerably increased and will 

continue to increase, find this feature going unrecognised so far as they are concerned, 

whilst at the same time they are surrounded by staff in other grades, doing less 

responsible work, who are recompensed for higher productivity. 

No wonder therefore that discontent runs high in this state of affairs, which is one that in 

the interests of all concerned should be rectified forthwith. In the 1965 Edition of the 

British Railways Year Book the Board underline the question of Productivity on the 

Railways during the last year or two. I would like to take this opportunity of quoting 

extracts from this book.

"The trend towards ever-rising annual deficits was reversed in 1963 when the working 

deficit fell to £82 million-an improvement of £22 million on the previous year. The 

welcome progress towards solvency continued in1964 with a further reduction of the 

working deficit to £67' million." This noteworthy improvement was achieved largely 

through savings in working expenses, in spite of rising prices for most purchased 

commodities and the effect of two staff pay increases. In 1964, however, there was, 

additionally, a significant increase of £5 million in gross revenue." Working expenses 

fell by about £27 million over the two-year period, equivalent to £61 million if wage and 

price increases are discounted. The principal elements of this saving were:

a) £21 million reduction in the cost of train working, largely from the displacement of 

steam by diesel and electric traction and the more productive use of locomotives, 

carriages and wagons.

b) £28 million reduction in the cost of all forms of maintenance, because of the reduced 

size of the rolling-stock fleet and the increased use of labour-saving equipment and 

techniques,

c) £12 million reduction in other costs, mainly through the closure of many terminals 

and higher productivity at those remaining open."

We are further informed from the same source: "Punctuality continued to improve, and 

by September 1964 was substantially better than in 1962. Towards the close of the year a 

number of factors impaired the high standards reached, but this was a temporary setback. 

The changeover from steam to diesel and electric traction continued, resulting in higher 

average speeds and shorter journey times. The proportion of coaching train miles run by 

diesel and electric traction rose to 87 per cent.

Striking progress was made in the acceleration of passenger trains; the summer timetable 

for 1964 recorded 526 trains booked to make start-to-stop journeys at 60 m.p.h. or more, 

including 25 averaging 70 m.p.h. or over.

This compares with 200 in the summer of 1962. The fastest scheduled run, introduced in 

the winter 1964 timetable, is that of the 07.45 Euston to Liverpool train which covers the 

61 miles between Nuneaton and Crewe at an average speed of 76 m.p.h., start-to-stop.

"The principal routes to benefit from the accelerations were the East Coast main line 

between London, the North-East and Scotland (where reductions in journey times of up 

to 63 minutes were achieved, and an hourly-interval 60 m.p.h. service was introduced 

between King's Cross and Newcastle); Paddington and South Wales with savings of up 

to 58 minutes; Plymouth and the North-West (up to 65 minutes); while the introduction 

of a high-speed electric multiple-unit service between London and ClactonFrinton and 

Walton cut up to 28 minutes from the journey times on this comparatively short route. 

 "The proportion of freight-train mileage worked by diesel and electric power nearly

 doubled in the two years, reaching 46 per cent during 1964.

In order to take advantage of the higher speeds and heavier loads now attainable, as 

many trains as possible are run either fully or partially power-braked. Helped by the 

growing proportion of brake-fitted wagons as older, non-fitted wagons are withdrawn, 

the booked weekly mileage of fitted and partially fitted trains rose to 59 per cent of the 

total.

Among these are the 'Company' trains-block trainloads for individual firms of which by 

the end of 1964 over 850 were booked to run each week. Cement, chemicals, motor cars 

and oil products are being carried in this way; one oil train regularly hauling a gross load 

of 2,000 tons between Southampton and Birmingham is currently the heaviest train in 

the country."   

All these developments-increasing the speed of trains, increasing the load, etc.-are 

factors which improve productivity, and from the fact that the Driver is involved in this 

intensified working, it follows that he contributes to the said improved productivity in no 

small way.

At 26th December, 1964, the total number of Drivers, Firemen and Cleaners was 53,359. 

At 19th June, 1965, the total was 50,472; a reduction of 2,887 or 5.4 per cent in six

 months.

Since July 1963 the number of Drivers has been reduced from 34,163 to 30,601; a 

reduction of 3,562; in the same period the establishment of Firemen and Cleaners has 

decreased from 28,744 to 19,299, a reduction of 9,445.

A proportion of these reductions may have arisen as a result of loss of work, but we 

contend that the bulk of this saving on staff has been brought about by increased 

productivity. The Railways will not accept that a Productivity Payment could be made 

on so-called past productivity. We maintain that this is not simply past productivity, but 

very much continuing and intensified productivity; we make the further point that we 

have been seeking the establishment of a productivity payment on a national basis since 

1961.

With regard to the savings on staff prior to the original submission of application, I 

would take the opportunity of drawing attention to the numbers of Footplate Staff on 

British Railways in 1957 when the present Manning Agreement was introduced. 

There were 83,157 Footplate Staff on the Railways at that time-there are less than 

50,000 now.

Surely some form of recognition should be given to productivity as developed in the 

past, as well as to the future productivity, particularly having regard to the fact that b

onus schemes for certain other grades have been in existence for some time.

In five years' time over 11,000 Drivers will have left the service by way of normal 

retirement.

We do not have details of the ages of these men, but if we say one-fifth of them will 

retire in the next year, there would be, assuming that our proposals for extension of single 

manning were adopted, an almost immediate saving of 2,200 Firemenpositions, making a 

saving of over £2 million per annum.

When we thus estimate a saving representing £1,000 per annum in respect of Firemen’s 

positions, we are quoting a modest figure, because one must in addition to earnings take 

into account the following in the case of each position saved:

National Insurance contribution; Annual Leave payment; Bank Holidays (these three 

items alone amount to almost £2 per week); Clothing; Sick Pay; Pensions; and all other 

items which involve the Railways in administrative costs in respect to each individual 

member of the staff.

The present establishment of Firemen and Cleaners is approximately 19,300 and a large 

percentage of these would, of course, disappear following amendment of the Manning 

Agreement.

A number of Drivers' positions would also be absorbed.

If therefore we take a modest estimate of 12,500 of these positions, the Railways would 

save overall more than £250,000 per week, or over £13 million per annum.

We were advised by the Chairman of the Board in May that the cost of Productivity 

Payments to Footplate Staff would be £3 million per year. If our proposals, as set out in 

Appendix "D", were to be accepted, the cost might increase to approximately £4 million, 

giving a total saving of £9 million by way of a relaxation of the Manning Agreement 

alone. '"

Thus, if this saving is taken into consideration along with the other contributions to 

Productivity which are made by Footplate 

Staff, our proposals in relation to additional payments are on a very modest scale indeed.

When we agreed to an extension of single manning as set out in my Appendix "C", we 

did so on the basis of the additional payments referred to in my Appendix "D", and not 

to the payments as set out in Appendix "D" to the Minutes of the R.S.N.C. 

Sub-Committee meeting held on 6th September.

In this latter connection it must be noted that the Railways have now withdrawn the offer 

if no agreement is reached in respect to manning during the night hours, and have 

substituted a vastly reduced offer of additional payments as set out in Appendix "C" to 

the Sub-Committee Minutes of 6th September.

They have also indicated that the proposed improvements in Drivers' rates of pay (Sub-

Committee-Appendix "A" and Appendix "B") are withdrawn if a relaxation in manning 

during night hours is not accepted.

It should be noted also that the difference between the two offers put forward by the 

Railways in respect to additional payment bears no relation to the additional savings 

which would accrue if there was a relaxation in manning' during night hours.

There is in fact no foundation for such a large reduction and in any event the original 

offer does not meet the problem so far as my Society is concerned, having regard to the 

extent to which we are prepared to give in relation to the relaxation of the Manning 

Agreement.

Our proposals give the Management the scope they are seeking particularly bearing in 

mind the requirements for the constant training of potential Drivers.

Finally, I respectfully emphasise that in the course of these long-drawn and difficult 

negotiations, my Society has in fact moved a tremendous way in seeking to reach 

agreement with the Board; notably, following our recalled delegate conference on 

August 10th, we have abandoned our insistence on discussion of productivity payment 

as an issue separate and distinct from the amendment of the Manning Agreement. We 

still think that we were entirely right in our previous attitude on this question, and that 

we were fully justified in seeking a payment based purely on the existing and mounting 

increase in the productivity of our member grades.

Nevertheless, I repeat that we moved from that position; and we have shown ourselves 

willing to countenance a considerable increase, highly lucrative to the Board, m !he 

proportion of single manning in return for a productivity payment on a Just and adequate 

scale. 

Unfortunately we have been unable to reach agreement with the Board even on this new 

basis. They have not, in fact, shown a 

readiness to match our own proved willingness to move. 

The issue is before this Court today because the Board are not prepared to meet us on the 

principle 'of night manning-highly important to us for reasons which I have indicated-

nor do they seem willing to concede to their Footplate Staff a due and proper share in the 

benefits accruing from increased productivity.

In concluding my opening statement, in which I have endeavoured to set forth the 

considerations involved in this dispute I would respectfully and most earnestly ask the 

court to find in favour (a) of our contention respecting retention of the principle of 

double manning during night hours; (b) of the provision, on a fair and adequate scale, of 

a productivity payment to our member grades; and (c), of a reduction in the Board’s 

proposed limit on the amount of driving single manned per turn of duty. 

It is our very sincere hope that as a result of the deliberations of the Court a satisfactory 

and enduring solution may be found to this unhappy dispute.

APPENDICES SUBMITTED TO THE COURT

"A" Diesel and Electric Manning Agreement-Memorandum of Agreement dated 18th 

December, 1957.

"B" L.M. Region: Incentive Bonus Schemes-Freight Train and Trip Working.

"C" A.S.L.E.F. proposals-Diesel and Electric Manning Agreement.

"D" Scale of Mileage Payments: Railways' Proposals-A.S.L.E.F. Proposals.

 

EXTRACTS FROM THE FINDINGS OF THE COURT

"The two main issues with which the negotiations leading to the setting up of this Court 

of Inquiry have been concerned are the revision of the Manning Agreement reached 

between the former British Transport Commission and A.S.L.E. F. and N.U.R. on 

18th December, 1957, and A.S.L.E. F.'s claim for a productivity payment for all 

footplate staff."

 

* * '* * *

Freight trains not fully fitted with automatic brakes "The 1957 Agreement provided for 

single-manning only on freight trains which were fitted with automatic brakes 

throughout. A.S.L.E. & F. had originally pressed for this restriction to be maintained. 

Their view was that the safety of single-manning on 'loose-coupled' freight trains (i.e. 

trains without automatic brakes on all wagons) was not established, and referred to the 

greater danger of such trains becoming uncoupled in the middle while in motion: to 

avoid this required greater skill on the part of the driver. The Board's view was that the 

second man on the cab did not materially help the driver in his task of handling loose-

coupled trains. By 6th September, however, A.S.L.E & F. were prepared to agree to such 

trains being single-manned in certain cases dealt with below ....I conclude that this is a 

point on which the parties should find it fairly easy to reach agreement, and I agree that 

there is no reason why loose coupled trains as such should not be single-manned.

Total length of driving turns

"Under the 1957 Agreement, the limits on the total length of a single-manned driving 

turn (i.e., including rest breaks etc.) were 200 miles or six hours for passenger trains and 

150 miles or six hours for fully-fitted freight trains. In May, 1965, the Board proposed 

that turns should -be limited by time only, not mileage, but, for the sake of reaching 

accommodation with the Unions, were prepared by 6th September to introduce mileage 

restrictions. The proposed limits were 350 miles or six hours for express passenger trains 

and freight trains permitted to run at over 50 m.p.h.; 250 miles or six hours for stopping 

passenger trains; and seven hours with mileage limits of 100, 200 and 250 miles for 

different classes of slower freight trains. A.S.L.E. F. were broadly in agreement with 

the proposed limits on hours (except that they wished to retain the limit of six hours on 

all fully-fitted freight trains), but sought lower mileage limits: 250 miles on express 

passenger trains, 175 miles for fully-fitted freight trains, and 100 miles for other freight. . . . '

"This was one of several points on which it seemed likely on 6th September  that 

agreement could have been found by further negotiation. For my part, I think the Board’s 

proposals are reasonable as they now stand.

Length of continuous driving single-manned"As against present limits on continuous 

driving single-manned of 100 miles or two hours (average speed 50 m.p.h.) for 

passenger trains and 75 miles or two hours (average speed 37t m.p.h.) for fully-fitted 

freight trains in the 1957 Agreement, the Board proposed limits of 175 miles or 2t hours 

(average speed 70 m.p.h.) for passenger trains and freight trains permitted to run at over 

50 m.p.h., and 125 or 100 miles and three hours (average speeds 42 and 33 m.p.h.) for 

slower freight trains. A.S.L.E. F. thought the absolute limits on the driver's capacity 

were 125 miles or two hours for passenger trains (average speed 62t m.p.h.), 90 miles or 

two hours (average speed 45 m.p.h.) for fully-fitted freight, and 2t hours (without 

distance limit) for other freight trains. '

 "Here again there was comparatively little difference between the parties, and I would 

regard the Board's proposals as reasonable.

 

Night manning

"At this point we come. to the core of the dispute. Under the 1957 Agreement there is no 

single-manning between midnight and 6 a.m. save for journeys finishing up to 1 a.m. or 

starting after 5 a.m. The Board's original proposal was that these restrictions should be 

wholly removed: and their acceptance as an interim measure of the A.S.L.E. F.

counter-proposal to shorten the 'proscribed hours,' for multiple-unit trains only, to 2 a.m. 

to 4 a.m. and other-wise to maintain the 1957 limits, was coupled with an offer on 6th 

September 1965, of a much lower scale of mileage payments."


 

* * * * *

": .. I recognise, and I think the Board also recognises, the very strong feelings which the 

footplatemen have on this issue.

 They have had relatively little time to accustom themselves to the measure of single-

manning which was introduced in 1957, especially as the proportion of locomotives to 

which the Agreement applied was comparatively small at that time and has increased 

steadily since then, and to remove the restrictions completely could at this stage provoke 

great unrest. I therefore suggest that this part of-the 1957 Agreement should remain 

unaltered for the time being save in two ways:

(a) as A.S.L.E. F. have suggested, multiple units finishing their journeys up to 2 a.m. 

and commencing after 4 a.m. may be 

single-manned;

(b) where more economical rostering could be achieved by permitting single-manning 

for workings terminating up to, say, 1.30 a.m. (2.30 a.m. for multiple units) or starting 

after 4.30 a.m. (3.30 a.m.), such borderline cases should be considered at joint 

committees at regional headquarters, any relaxations, of course, being subject to 

agreement by both sides.

However, the Board should keep the matter under review and should seek more definite 

evidence on the effects of fatigue during the night hours and the ways in Which drivers 

may be helped to overcome it; while the Unions should also reconsider their attitude on 

this matter with a view to agreement on removing the restrictions within the next year or 

two."

 

* * * * *

Physical heeds break

"I find the Board's proposals not unreasonable: there seems little opportunity for abuse 

of a discretionary period as short as 10 minutes outside the normal limits, but anything 

over this limit should not be left to the discretion of the people responsible for rostering 

but should be agreed by the joint regional committees.'

 

* * * * *

Total duration of single-manned spells

"My own view is that there must be some flexibility in the arrangements in the interests 

of efficiency, but I suggest that all rosters over eight hours should continue to be agreed 

with the Unions (by the regional manning committees, not nationally as at present). 

While rosters of up to 8 hours 15 minutes do not seem unreasonable departures from the 

eight-hour limit, I do not see why the onus should be wholly on the Unions to show that 

re-rostering could avoid the need for them. But I would also stress that the regional 

committees must be made to work by both side."

Redundancy . . '

"The Board gave a full assurance not only that no footplate staff surplus to requirements 

as a result of the revised Agreement would be made redundant but that none would be 

moved from his present depot against his wishes. If footplate staff wished to move to 

another depot (e.g. to improve prospects of promotion to driver), they would benefit 

from the provisions of current redundancy arrangements. In addition, to encourage 

retirement of drivers so as to provide openings for firemen, drivers over 60 years of age 

at depots where firemen were surplus to requirements m consequence of single-manning 

would be allowed to retire under the redundancy procedure. Over·11,000 drivers were 

due to retire in the normal way over the next five years and this would make it 

comparatively easy to absorb surplus footplatemen. A.S.L.E. F. were satisfied with 

these arrangements, although they pointed out that closure of depots would cause some 

added hardship to footplatemen as they would either have to move their homes or travel 

long distances.

"The Board also gave assurances that the earnings of footplate staff affected by the 

revised Agreement would be safeguarded .... "

 

* * * * *

Conclusion-productivity payments . . .

"Undoubtedly footplate staff have been increasingly gainfully employed in recent years. 

Between 1957 and 1964, the ratio of loaded train miles to numbers of footplatemen 

increased by over 35 per cent. Footplate staff have shared in national wage increases, but 

they have also seen the introduction of incentive bonus schemes to' other conciliation 

grade staff (of whom some 30 per cent are now covered) and have felt aggrieved that the 

Board have not found it possible to reward their effort in a similar way."

* * * * *

"The Board said that they were prepared to accept the changes which were already 

capable of agreement and to pay for them. 

Clearly, the retention of restrictions on single-manning reduced the savings Which  the 

Board could expect to make, and this led them to reduced their offer on pay and mileage 

allowances. But the reduction of 50 per cent m additional mileage allowances was quite 

unacceptable to the Unions. The Board themselves said in evidence that this reduced offer 

was ‘a compromise, a poor one, a bit illogical and a bit unjustified .by any standards.'

"Given the changes in manning to which the unions seemed prepared to agree at this 

juncture, what is their just price?

"The Board have found it 'impracticable' to give me a full breakdown of the savings to 

be expected from amending the 1957 Agreement. Precise calculations of savings and 

costs are essential to determine productivity payments and I would stress the difficulty of 

forming a conclusion without adequate figures."

 

* * * * *

" ... the Board appear to have underestimated the savings. They stated that without 

restrictions on night manning, these would amount to £30 million over 'the next five 

years or £6 million a year on average. A.S.L.E. & F. 'put. them at nearer £9 million a 

year, and the Board's figures do need re-examination.

"I am ... of the opinion that, so far as mileage payments are concerned, the Board’s 

higher offer should stand, as should their offer of increased rates of pay, for firemen to

which no strings were 'ever attached. But the Board's offer at a late stage in the 

negotiations, to adjust the wage rates of first and second' year drivers should remain in 

suspense until restrictions on night manning are finally removed.

"I would suggest that the parties should resume negotiations on this basis: one further 

meeting should be enough to carry them through."For the future I have recommended 

that the final removal of restrictions on single-manning at night should follow in 

a year or two at most. I note the Board’s intention to negotiate without delay for the 

further development of incentive schemes for the footplate staff on local freight working 

who are unable to benefit from mileage allowances to any great extent: this seems 

necessary." 

Make a free website with Yola