First North Western

05 September 2005

Strike Bulletin

Information for ASLEF Members

First North Western 2002 Pay Dispute Negotiations Update


On Thursday 28 November, the ASLEF negotiating team met with Vernon Barker, Managing Director, First North Western, and members of the First North Western (FNW) management team.

A second meeting was held on Wednesday 4 December and a new offer was put forward by FNW management. The new offer encompasses both pay and conditions of service.

The ASLEF negotiating team, including the FNW Company Council will now wait on the Executive Committee, in their session of Monday 9 December 2002, to present a full report on the new offer. 

In line with EC Resolution 829/418, FNW have until Friday 13 December to make an acceptable offer.

Members will be kept fully informed on the progress of these negotiations and any other matters that may arise.

Special Joint Branch Meetings

Special Joint Branch Meetings have been arranged for First North Western members.

The meetings will be open to all FNW members, will be held with the General Secretary and ASLEF pay negotiators in attendance.

The meetings have been arranged on the following dates:




Further details, including the start times and venues, will be published as soon as possible and once they are confirmed.

All members are encouraged to attend the meeting at the venue nearest to them and participate fully in these important meetings.


Strategic Rail Authority - Track Access Payments

Members will be aware that in October, we brought to the attention of North West MPs and the North West media, the fact that FNW were misleading the travelling public by stating that disruption to midweek services was as a consequence of industrial action.

It was pointed out that the autumn strike dates were set for weekends only, and the true cause of the disruption lay with FNW’s failings as an employer.

At that time, the General Secretary also wrote to the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) querying the impact of this supposed industrial action, on FNW track access payments and subsequent franchise subsidy payments.

The letter pointed out the true position of disruption to midweek services, and requested that this be clarified lest there was any confusion with the financial arrangements between the SRA and FNW.

Many of the MPs expressed their interest in this issue, particularly the role of the SRA and the financing of the railways. They specifically requested that they be kept informed of any further correspondence.

A response has now been received from the SRA, which unfortunately, has been described as ‘less than helpful’, as it does not address any of the points raised in the original correspondence. 

The SRA have chosen to avoid answering the issue directly, by stating that all the financial details in respect of FNW will be made available at the time of the publication of their Annual Report – scheduled for the summer of 2003!

In light of this response and the large sums of public money involved, the General Secretary has informed the MPs of our concerns, and will be pursuing the matter further, this time, directly with the Secretary of State for Transport.

Members will be kept fully informed about this matter as it is progressed.

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