Last year, Network Rail pushed through a costly reorganisation called 'Putting Passengers First'. It created new regional structures, devolved some centralised functions, deleted some job roles and created others. It displaced people, but it did not intend to reduce headcount overall.
But before NR could fully implement the new structure, Covid came along. NR panicked about money and decided not to fill many of the positions it had just created. On top of that, Network Rail had enforced a 'recruitment freeze' prior to the reorg. Now it seems that many of the pre-existing vacancies will not get filled. Network Rail seems to be enforcing a 'recruitment freeze' again. If someone moves on, NR will not fill the vacancy unless it's deemed 'business critical'.
There isn't even any logic behind which posts are filled or unfilled. Many people are now covering jobs that span unmanageable and illogical geographical areas. A lot of work that affects the safety and reliability of the railway simply isn't being done.
If we accept these unfilled vacancies, then we make it easier for Network Rail to make job cuts by the back door. RMT and Members of the Scottish Parliament have questioned Network Rail about unfilled posts in Scotland. The same needs to be done for the whole of Network Rail. These jobs should not be deleted without a fight.