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Multi-sponsorship of track workers criticised at NSARE conference

NSARE chief executive Gil Howarth has said multi-sponsorship of track workers should end, despite concerns from some of the organisation’s members that this could affect workers’ income.

Speaking at NSARE’s Training Matters conference in Derby today, Howarth said: “I see no reason for it whatsoever. I would say that multi-sponsorship should not be in our industry.”

Elaine Clark, NSARE's head of process development, said there is a perception that it creates more problems than it solves and said that it is being looked at by Network Rail.

Some organisations questioned the need to end multi-sponsorship however, saying that rail track maintenance and engineering is a unique industry and very much not a 9-5 job, thanks to the way possession windows work. Without it, workers’ ability to earn an income could be harmed, they argued.

Howarth said better planning was needed and was coming to ensure contractors could plan their workforce needs in advance, and said too many workers were doing multiple shifts. He gave the example of someone going straight from a Network Rail job to a TfL job, before doing some taxi driving then going on to another Network Rail shift.

Network Rail’s head of professional development and training, Guy Wilmshurst-Smith, said the new ‘Sentinel 2’ scheme would help with lone worker maintenance, fatigue management and cut the bureaucracy involved.

Get live tweets from the NSARE conference by following @rtmnews


Howard Hill   28/09/2012 at 15:38

What a load of rubbish people who do this line of work like myself have to have multi sponsorships to make a living other wise it would only be a weekend shift if your lucky as if you was only able to have one sponsor for rail work you may as well leave the railway and work in a supermarket this person dose not have a clue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve   28/09/2012 at 15:57

I wonder what authority Gil Howarth has to make such pronouncements concerning multple sponsorship, is NSARE the decision maker of Rail Industry practice. I agree entirely that multiple sponsorship is undesireable, however the example he quotes about taxi driving etc and Tfl will not be addressed by Sentinel as there is no linked database. There is a huge reliance on part time labour on our network and if people are not able to obtain enough work they will leave. There is obviously some abuse but responsible sponsors will quickly spot all the signs of staff abusing the rules. I am more concerned at the quality of some of the agency Cosses who are so obviously uninterested in participating in any work, arrive late at worksite often by public transport, unable to deliver a decent brief, often without a proper grasp of spoken English, do not know the site of work and are a supernumary body contributing very little to the site productivity or safety, often messing around with a mobile phone. I feel that these are the very people who are most at risk due to lack of attention.

Marcus   14/02/2014 at 12:27

if you want to end multi sponsorship then guarantee us the agency workers at least 40 hours on decent rates and get rid of the zero hour contracts as they are why we have to jump here there just to get a shift or 2 a week...maybe gil should try paying rent on one shift a week and see how that goes..always the dum twats who know nothing have the genius idea's to restrict our ability to earn money but don't care that their dum idea's cause rates to drop and restrict us to struggling to get mid week give us 40 hour guaranteed contracts Gil and pay a decent wage and allow the decent coss's who do speak English and apply the rule book without being replaced for doing so..Gil Howarth knows nothing of the railways and the bad agencys that lie and don't pay money they owe..i would also suggest that GIL pays for all my recerts and assements, try not getting paid by agencys and having NWR just sit back and do nothing to help the contractors who most of us are replaced for applying the rule book by the no nothing no speaking English coss's pushed through their tickets for profit by bad agencies and their are plenty of them, would you like me to name them so you can do nothing about them ..NWR only care when the agencies get caught ripping them off but not when the agencies under pay and don't pay us..LIVE IN THE REAL WORLD MRS HOWARTH till then carry talking about things you know nothing about...

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