18th March 2020 Circular

March 18, 2020
Consultation with our representatives has taken place since London Underground tabled its “full and final offer”, which I advised you of in a previous circular (Ref: IR/465/19, 15th November 2019).
To remind you, the offer tabled at that time was as follows:
  • Year 1 – 2.7% (RPI Feb 2019 +0.2%)
  • Year 2 – 1.4% plus 30 minute reduction in working week (three banked rest days – target implementation date: mid 2020)
  • Year 3 – RPI Feb 2021 +0.2%
  • Year 4 – 1.4% plus further 30 minute reduction in working week (three further banked rest days)
The unanimous view of representatives who attended a meeting to discuss this matter at the time was to reject and this view was endorsed by your National Executive Committee. Further discussions took place between your union and the company and management subsequently tabled the above offer again but also offered an alternative of a four-year deal of RPI plus 0.2% in each year but with no reduction in working time.
Further consultations were held with Level 1 reps and the view was to reject and commence a ballot of all members, which was again endorsed by your NEC. The balloted opened on Friday 6th March and will close on Tuesday 31st March. The ballot asks two questions: Strike Action and Action Short of a Strike in the form of members not to familiarise any member of staff at any location where that person would not normally work.
In taking the decision to ballot, your NEC noted the determination of our reps and members on LUL to fight for a pay deal that both protects real pay levels and addresses issues of fatigue and excessive working hours. Your NEC has also instructed me to provide all possible resources to ensure that we have the best possible opportunity to deliver a YES vote that meets the legal thresholds on both questions.
I will of course keep members fully advised of all further developments during this ballot and when the ballot closes.
It was brought to your union’s attention that Sodexho had won an extension to its contract to provide catering services across TfL. At the time, your representatives were alerted to a number of rumours circulating which suggested that a reorganisation to include job cuts was the company’s plan to take this contract forward.
Your Regional Organiser therefore met with the company, which stated that it had won the contract extension on the basis that it would introduce savings and efficiencies and so planned to cut 18 members of staff from its 120 workforce.
Your negotiators pressed the company to honour its obligations under the machinery of negotiation and it was agreed at the meeting that management would not go ahead with imposing its plans whilst discussions were still taking place and that a further meeting would take place on 19th March 2020.
Your National Executive Committee expressed its alarm at the suggestion that TfL had negotiated this contract extension on terms that will result in these job cuts and has instructed me to keep it informed of all details that come out of the next meeting.
I will keep you advised of all developments in this matter in due course.
I previously advised you of the magnificent and unanimous 15-0 vote of our Service Controller members at Osborne House to take strike action (Ref: IR/023/20, 15th January 2020) over a breakdown in industrial relations at the location.
Shortly after the vote was announced, your union and London Underground held talks under the auspices of conciliation service Acas. However, progress was initially slow and our negotiators therefore recommended two days of strike action in order to focus management’s minds. Your National Executive Committee endorsed this recommendation and instructed our members not to work on Friday 20th March and Friday 27th March 2020.
This proved crucial as further talks have resulted in London Underground setting out a number of proposals, including carrying out an independent investigation in the industrial relations situation at Osborne House which led to this dispute.
It proposed that an Acas conciliator would undertake this work and meet staff to gain an understanding of the problems. Additionally, management have said that they are committed to resolving the issues within this dispute and to improving relations with staff.
Having consulted with our representative, the NEC noted the proposals and the progress made and suspended the scheduled strike action to allow this investigation to take place. Once again, the threat of industrial action from a committed group of RMT members forced LU management to change its course and get these matters addressed. The dispute continues pending the outcome of the investigation, however.
I will keep you advised of any further developments.
I previously advised you of a ballot of our Revenue Control Inspector members at London Underground over the company’s attempts to create a two-tier workforce with the introduction of a new grade on inferior terms and conditions (Ref: IR/038/20, 28th January 2020).
The ballot took place and our members produced a 73-5 vote for strike action and 79-0 for industrial action short of a strike. This was obviously a clear and unambiguous mandate from the members involved. A meeting of all industrial reps in the Revenue function then took place and they unanimously recommended strike action as management had failed to respond to our members’ concerns on this matter. Your National Executive Committee therefore announced industrial action and our Revenue Control Inspector members have been instructed not to book on for shifts which commence between:
00.01 hours and 23.59 hours on Friday 27th March 2020
Additionally, from 00.01 hours on Saturday 28th March 2020 until further notice, members are instructed to:
  • refuse to train staff in any unagreed LUL grade or any grade that is not directly employed by London Underground limited to carry out revenue protection roles
·         refuse to mentor any unagreed LUL grade or any grade that is not directly employed by London Underground limited to carry out revenue protection roles
·         refuse to assist any unagreed LUL grade or any grade that is not directly employed by London Underground limited to carry out revenue protection roles
Please give your solidarity and support to your RCI colleagues taking this action.
I will keep you advised of all further developments in this dispute.
Our Jubilee South Branch has submitted the following resolution for consideration by your National Executive Committee:
“Jubilee South Branch is concerned by the proposed new duty schedules for Stratford Depot which London Underground management plan to introduce in March 2020.
These schedules see a further reduction in dead early shifts at Stratford which is detrimental to work/life balance of our members.
These concerns were raised by the RMT at a schedules meeting and a way forward was agreed to improve the proposed early turns.
However, following this meeting, the agreed plan to improve the roster have been altered which is not acceptable.
We ask the NEC to call an urgent meeting with London Underground to discuss the Stratford duties schedule further.
As things stand, we reject these proposed schedule changes.”
Your NEC has noted the resolution and applauded our reps and members at Stratford Depot for their resistance to the implementation of duty schedules that will adversely impact on work/life balance for our members. The NEC has instructed me to arrange a meeting between its members, the lead officer and appropriate reps to discuss how this matter can be progressed.
I will keep you advised of developments following this meeting.
The following resolution has been submitted for consideration by your National Executive Committee:
“It has come to this branch’s notice that London Underground are ‘future proofing’ the new train stock planned for the Piccadilly Line, it is due to arrive from 20203 onwards.
‘Future proofing’ is the new train stock having a reformable cab, this means the train cab be changed and removed to make the trains driverless, not very future proof for train operators currently employed now or in the future.
New train ops and those who have many years of work left now have no ‘working future’ in fact an end to their employment is in sight. As a branch we are also aware that (the Piccadilly Line) we will not be the last new stock on the underground and we must fight future proofing not only on our line but also across the combine of LU and anywhere else it raises its ugly head to protect jobs.
With this in mind we call upon this region to instruct the General Secretary to contact London Underground/TfL, make the strongest possible challenge to the current design of Piccadilly Line new train stock and get the reformable cab removed, additionally that the RMT develop a policy to fight any workplace that introduces future proofing which will lead to job losses and by default membership losses.”
This resolution has now been considered by your NEC which has instructed me to obtain a report from the lead officer of where discussion on this matter currently sit in the machinery of negotiation.
When I receive this report, it will be placed back before the NEC and I will keep you advised of developments.
I previously advised you of the disgraceful treatment of Ezra Christian, who faced a Company Disciplinary Investigation over an incident which should have been resolved locally (Ref: IR/038/20, 28th January 2020). Our Bakerloo Line Branch has now informed me that Brother Christian has now been dismissed following the CDI and has requested that the union enter a dispute situation with London Underground over this disgraceful situation and prepare a ballot of our Bakerloo drivers and instructor operators.
Your NEC has endorsed this recommendation and I will be informing LU of this dispute and arranging this ballot. Our members are determined to obtain justice for Brother Christian and I will keep you advised of all further developments in this matter.
I previously advised you of the attempts by London Underground management to displace Ketan Jageda from his duties/location which had been part of a formally agreed reasonable adjustment (Ref: IR/385/19, 26th September 2019). A resolution from Brother Jageda’s Bakerloo Line stated that such a move would not only be morally wrong but also a possible breach of the 2010 Equality Act.
This issue has been dragging on with LU management failing to resolve the matter satisfactorily. The branch therefore has again called on your National Executive Committee to address this issue by declaring a dispute and to prepare a ballot matrix of our members on the Bakerloo North Group (Stations). Your NEC has endorsed this recommendation and I am currently carrying out these instructions.
I will keep you advised of further developments in this matter.
In line with union policy, a pay claim for a substantial increase in pay and improved terms and conditions was submitted to Global Media for our members on its LU contract. Following a meeting, the company tabled the following three-year offer:
2019 – An increase of 2.5%, effective April 2019.
2020 – An increase of 2.5%, effective April 2020
2021 – An increase of 2.35%
Your National Executive Committee considered this offer and expressed its concerns that the offer for the third year is below the current level of RPI and therefore it instructed the lead officer to seek an improved offer for 2021.
A further meeting with the company took place at which it raised the offer for the third year to 2.3%. Our representative sought the view of members who expressed their unanimous vote to accept at a meeting.
Your NEC accepted this recommendation to accept and instructed me to inform the company of this decision.

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