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Daily Update 23/04/2020

Somerst Passenger Solutions

After huge pressure from Unite and in collaboration with SPS, a number of steps were taken to ensure the safety of staff and passengers alike. The first step that was taken was to reduce the seating capacity on vehicles down to 50%, however this still did not meet government guidelines of 2 meter distancing so it was agreed by all that the capacity would be cut further. It was finally agreed that the figure should be 25%, this was implemented over a weekend. It was also asked if coaches could be removed from service as this was a concern for the majority of drivers, this was also implemented over the same weekend. With these measures being put in place a further 64 loan vehicles had to be bought in on short notice to enable the same service to be able to run. Alongside extra vehicles being bought in it was also agreed, from SPS and Unite, that ‘spit screens’ would be installed on all vehicles to help shield the drivers. To help alleviate the possibility of cross contamination anti-bacterial wipes and gloves have been provided to all drivers so they are able to wipe down any touch points in their immediate cab area. Hand sanitiser has also been fitted/allocated to each vehicle inside the drivers cab area for when they are out on the road. These measures were implemented very quickly and then as a Union, in conjunction with SPS, were able to ask for further measures to be implemented. The next step that where asked for was the implementation of a one way system at J24, this was put in place over a couple of days of tweaking of the route that would enable the system to work effectively. From this the attention moved to the presentation of vehicles, extra cleaners have been bought in to help the team that was already in place and it was also asked that a cleaning record be put on each vehicle as we, the Union, were getting reports of busses being missed for cleaning, this has happened, and we are happy to report that all vehicles now seem to be getting cleaned on a daily basis. To help with the cleaning of busses, ‘fog’ machines were bought in and trialled to make sure they were suitable to use, the trials were successful and we are happy to report that the machines have now been ordered and will be in service as soon as they arrive. The next thing that was discussed was how Unite and SPS could support drivers during their long periods of down time during the day, the idea of a food allowance was floated around. With the arrival of a food van at J23 and a further food van arriving soon at J24 a food allowance has now been implemented and put on drivers SAP card. For employees who have not been badged vouchers are available to use. The biggest question on everybody’s mind during the whole pandemic was that of furlough. This has been by far and away the hardest battle we faced, but we are getting there. Unite have formally requested from SPS that vulnerable groups (those written to by NHS, shielding and isolating) are furloughed and their positions back filled by agency labour in line with our interpretation of the Governments Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The scheme can only be implemented by the employer in connection with a request to HMRC. However, we continue working hard to protect the vulnerable groups of members at SPS and will give feedback on developments, promised to us by close of business today.

Balfour Beatty

Unite continue to build relationships with the employers and have now been given access to our own office in the w10 compound, this will now make it easier to contact the reps and have a private meeting. Main turn styles are now on free spin and 15 min grace in and out has been extended another week.


Rotation A - (For those who are currently working on site) People will recieve formal notification of movement on to rotation A as of early next week via official written communication. Until then disregard any rumour or speculation. If you would like to volunteer for the 3 week rotation and are currently in work please make yourself known to your black hat or drop a message to . The long weekends have been adjusted to a 3 weekly pattern, the first one will be on Friday 1st May with a 2pm finish for all on site. Next one will be scheduled for Friday 22nd May to fall in line with rotation B returning to 3 week furlough. A full calendar will be produced in time.

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This communication is sent following the extraordinary site joint council held today with Bylor and the client. Good progress was made in respect of following points: 1) Milestone bonus – pending


Unite the Union
Unite the Union
Apr 24, 2020

Wayne, we understand your frustration but we also recognise that this isn't a regular occurance. There was an accident which meant that there was a delay to buses returning to site. If buses hadn't been filled, causing people to be left on site at the end of a shift, we can imagine that there would be a multitude of complaints this morning.


The Fletch
The Fletch
Apr 23, 2020


17:20, HAE Secure bus,

I was waiting to catch the secure bus from HAE to J23 this evening, the Sedgemoor Campus bus was waiting to go but only had 10 on board, the controller decided to put 10 of us who wanted to go to J23 on to fill the bus, he told the driver to go to Sedgemoor first then J23. These buses should be direct to one stop ONLY, I was one of the last on and I had to sit on the seat opposite the stairs closest to the driver, next to the disabled seat and bag shelf. When we got to Sedgemoor Campus at least 10 people disembarked the bus, walking passed…

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