Union deal is GNER’s retention route

Train operator GNER is hoping a union partnership deal will help reduce
turnover among its customer-facing staff by 5 per cent.

The partnership deal, signed last week, includes a move to reduce the
working week to 35 hours by January 2003.

Staff turnover among the firm’s 2,000 customer-facing staff stands at 15 per

The agreement with the RMT, Transport Salaried Staffs Association and the
AEEU, and a second deal with ASLEF, covers 2,500 of GNER’s 3,000 employees.

Mike Goodie, GNER HR director, said, "We see the partnership deal as a
way of improving staff turnover, sickness rates and creativity and innovation.

"We are not happy with it [staff turnover] at this level. The nature of
the job is that it is a rewarding, but a very hard job – staff are on their
feet all day and have to deal with customers."

The partnership will look at improving training and development in a bid to
provide a better work environment and produce a more committed workforce.

Goodie thinks the partnership is the perfect opportunity to improve people
management skills of line managers and prove the importance of HR to the

"It is a huge opportunity to demonstrate the value of good HR skills to
the bottom line," he said.

The agreement will be driven forward by a joint partnership steering group
made up of employee representatives and GNER managers.


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