Author: Paul

New Inflation rates for year to March 2019

New Inflation rates for year to March 2019

 

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have published inflation rates for the year to February 2019. The Retail Prices Index (RPI) was 2.4%, down 0.1% on the year to February 2019. The alternative measures of CPI and CPIH were 1.9% (unchanged) and 1.8% (unchanged) respectively.

 

Your union’s policy is to use the RPI rate for all pay negotiations. Should an employer attempt to use alternative inflation measures during pay talks, please inform the National Policy department as soon as possible.

 

I would be grateful if you could bring the content of this circular to the attention of all members in your Branch.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Mick Cash

Bob Crow Branch nominates Sean Hoyle for General Secretary

The Bob Crow Branch overwhelmingly backed Sean Hoyle for General Secretary tonight at our branch meeting.

 

Both Sean and Mick Cash spoke well and were a credit to our union, but ultimately, it was Sean’s passion and vision for the future that won the vote.

 

Sean stated

 

  1. His history within the union and roles on the NEC and as President. That the RMT was not the same as other unions such as Unite and that our NEC and our was run by the members..
  2. Affiliation: Did not believe in Affiliation to the Labour Party and discussed people like Sadiq Khan in London was not representing workers. He believed that the only people that can save us is ourselves and being kicked by our own so called party was unacceptable and hurt more. He wanted to see more MPs removed from our parliamentary group
  3. Community: He wanted to defend people in their communities and mobilise the workers and the RMT become a progressive voice for social change as we had in the past.
  4. Equality: Wanted to see more activity from all areas of our union and a voice for all. He was against tokenism but our union was doing something wrong and we needed a will to change things rather than accept the status quo. He stated his aim to make the union more inclusive.
  5. Legacy:  he wanted to remove the philosophy that the General Secretary runs the union and make it the vision that we the members run the union. A union back to being visible and known
  6. Legal: Wanted a situation where union reps are not turned down for representation to 0%  and all members get represented should we have a case.
  7. He wanted a fighting fund to help us win our disputes such as DOO
  8. On branch matters he would attend regularly and that he would support our goals and would remain accountable, visible and approacable.

To learn more see below

 

RMT declares a further dispute across London Underground over threatened job losses

RMT declares a further dispute across London Underground over threatened job losses
 
TUBE UNION RMT confirmed today that it has declared a further dispute across London Underground over job losses and is preparing a ballot for industrial action.  The dispute comes in addition to the rows over the current pay round and fleet preparation and maintenance with RMT making it clear that it sees the attacks on jobs, staffing levels, pay and working conditions as part of a concerted assault on the workforce by London Underground that it intends to resist with every tool at its disposal including the use of industrial action.
 
The latest dispute has arisen as TfL/LUL is undergoing a process called ‘Transformation’ which aims to cut costs and make savings through job cuts. LUL has recently announced a further raft of job losses affecting members in Track Access Control, Power Control, Service Control, LUCC, Skills Development, Waste, Pumps, Stations Buildings & Civils and Signals Incidents.
 
RMT has made it crystal clear that the union is wholly opposed to the whole Transformation process and has written  to the Company demanding that the negotiated Main Framework Agreement is adhered to. That agreement states that any changes in relation to staffing levels will only be carried out following full consultation and negotiation with the trades unions. This has been flouted in respect of the latest proposals as no negotiation has taken place and no safety review or validation has been provided.
 
Due to this breach of the key main agreement principles RMT General Secretary Mick Cash has made it clear to the Company that unless the union receives the relevant information, including the full proposals and full information on all safety aspects, we will withdraw from the 90 day statutory consultation.
 
RMT’s National Executive Committee has now considered the matter again and noted that the wholly inadequate Company response does not address our requirements. Therefore, the NEC has taken the decision to advise the Company of our withdrawal from the flawed Transformation process and to declare a dispute over this issue. RMT has now advised the Company accordingly that we are in dispute over its failure to follow the correct procedures and failure to adhere to our agreements while pushing ahead with job losses affecting RMT members.
 
All RMT Reps have also been advised not to attend or take part in any briefings or discussions regarding this matter until further notice and preparations for a ballot are now underway.
 
RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said:
“RMT members across London Underground are furious at what they rightly see as a barrage of attacks from the company with the job cuts assault under the guise of the “Transformation” process just the latest in a catalogue of grievances that are all about hammering down on pay, staffing levels, safety and working conditions.
“RMT has made it crystal clear that we will fight any attempts to rip up agreements as part of a process designed to ram through cash-led cuts that would decimate the workforce and open the door to an assault on job security, pay and working conditions that our members have had to fight long and hard to achieve
“We are now in dispute with London Underground on a number of fronts and are mobilising an industrial and political response that will turn the tide on these ill-conceived attacks.”

MASS MEETING FOR RMT LONDON UNDERGROUND MEMBERS

MASS MEETING FOR RMT LONDON UNDERGROUND MEMBERS
 
The National Executive Committee has taken the decision to arrange a mass members meeting for all London Underground members with the General Secretary, Senior Assistant General Secretary, Lead Officer, National President, and NEC in attendance to discuss:-
 
  1. RMT 2019 Pay Submission and progress of talks with the Company.
 
  1. Transformations attacks on jobs and agreements affecting Transplant, Track Access Control, Power Control, Service Control, LUCC, Skills Development, Waste, Pumps, Stations Buildings & Civils and Signals Incidents.
 
  1. Extended Train Fleet Preparation Schedule
 
This meeting has been arranged for 6pm on Wednesday 24th April 2019 in the Mahatma Ghandi Hall, Indian YMCA, 41 Fitzroy Square, London W1T 6AQ.
 
All RMT members are welcome to attend I look forward to seeing you there.
 
WITHDRAWAL OF COMPANY SICK PAY – LONDON UNDERGROUND
 
I would like to remind all LU members of clarification that was received in 2016 regarding the above which confirmed that members should not have company sick pay withdrawn as a result of not attending informal meetings with their managers while they are off sick.
 
Members should stay in contact with their line manager during a period of sickness and provide the required sick certificates but non-attendance at a review meeting should not alone result in sick pay being suspended.
 
DISMISSAL, HARVINDER BILLING, CSA2, HEATHROW – LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/4/1)
 
Further to my previous Circular (IR/119/19, 27th March 2019), the Company was advised of the dispute situation over the dismissal of Brother Harvinder Billing from his CSA2 role at Heathrow for failing to following unknown procedures in relation to ticket machine accounting and servicing. I can now advise that ballot papers will be posted to all CSA, CSS and CSM members in the Heathrow Area on Thursday 18th April and the closing date for this ballot is Thursday 2nd May 2019.
 
If any member does not receive their ballot paper or know of a colleague who has not received it, please ask them to call the Freephone helpline number on 0800 376 3706, RMT Head Office on 0207 387 4771 to ask for the Industrial Relations Department or e-mail [email protected] to request a replacement.
 
RATES OF PAY & CONDITIONS OF SERVICE 2019 – LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/0001)

Further to my previous Circular (IR/302/18, 4
th July 2018), there has now been a total of five pay meetings held with the Company and each element of the RMT pay claim has been discussed in some detail. At the conclusion of these meetings, the Company has tabled a formal one-year offer which is as follows:-
 
  • A 2.5% consolidated increase for all grades (RPI February 2019, published in March 2019), effective from 1st April 2019.
 
However this offer is conditional on RMT withdrawing all the other elements of our pay claim, namely:-
 
  • A minimum flat rate increase for the lowest paid staff
  • Increased payments for PM, SPIC and First Aid duties
  • A reduction in the working week to 32 hours over 4 days
  • An increase in annual leave entitlement
 
Your RMT negotiating team is of the unanimous view that this offer falls well short of members’ aspirations and in fact fails to address any element of the RMT pay and conditions claim. RMT, along with our sister unions, expressed our disappointment to the Company and in response, LU stated it is willing to hold further meetings although at this stage the above offer is the best available with what is on the table.
 
This matter has been considered by the National Executive Committee, which has taken the decision to formally advise LU of our rejection of the offer and that unless significant improvements are made it is likely that a dispute situation will exist over this issue. Also to prepare a ballot matrix of all London Underground members and arrange a meeting of all 2nd Stage LU Reps in order to discuss the offer and potential further steps in this campaign.
 
I am acting in accordance with the above and would ask that in the meantime all members check their membership records are correct. Therefore, if your job title, home address or workplace has recently changed, please contact the RMT Helpline on 0800 376 3706 or the RMT switchboard on 0207 387 4771 and ask to speak to the Industrial Relations Department. Alternatively, you can e-mail your change of membership details to [email protected].
 
Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary

TFL/LUL TRANSFORMATION (LUL/15/4)

TFL/LUL TRANSFORMATION (LUL/15/4)
 
Further to my previous Circular (IR/80/19, 22nd February 2019) and as you may be aware, TfL/LUL is undergoing a process called ‘Transformation’ which aims to cut costs and make savings by making job cuts. LUL has recently announced a further raft of job losses affecting members in Track Access Control, Power Control, Service Control, LUCC, Skills Development, Waste, Pumps, Stations Buildings & Civils and Signals Incidents. The Company has given formal notice of the start of 90 days of consultations and advised that the effective commencement date was Tuesday 26th March 2019.
 
RMT is of course opposed to the whole Transformation process and determined to make sure that the Company follows the correct procedures and adheres to our agreements during this process. The Union previously received an assurance from LUL that this would be the case so I am shocked that once again, they are pressing ahead with issuing formal notifications.
 
I have written to the Company to demand that section 6.1.1. of the Main Framework Agreement is immediately and properly adhered to. This states that any changes in relation to staffing levels will only be carried out following full consultation and negotiation with the trades unions. This has not been the case so far as no negotiation has taken place and no safety review or validation has been provided.
 
As a result of the above and due to LUL breaching key main agreement principles, RMT will advise the Company at the meeting next Tuesday that unless we are provided with the relevant information including the full proposals and full information on all safety aspects, we will withdraw from the 90 day consultation.
 
The National Executive Committee will consider this matter again next week and I will keep Branches advised of all further developments.
 
Yours sincerely
Mick Cash

RMT ANTI FASCIST EDUCATION COURSE

RMT ANTI FASCIST EDUCATION COURSE
 
Following decision of the National Executive Committee I am able to confirm arrangements have been made to deliver a pilot course on organising against and defeating the far-right movement in the UK that has seen a significant rise in their activities on our streets.
This pilot will be run at;
 
Unison
130 Euston Road
London
NW1 2AY
 
The course will commence at 09.30hrs and close at 17.00hrs on 14th May and reconvene at 09.30hrs until 13.00hrs on 15th May 2019.
 
This pilot course will initially accept the first 20 applicants. The course once delivered will be evaluated, amended accordingly then offered at the Bob Crow National Education Centre, as well as being available to Regional Councils for a more localised delivery.
 
If you wish to attend then please complete the attached application form, for any further information please contact the National Education Officer at [email protected]
 
 
Yours sincerely
General Secretary

FUTURE OF INTERSERVE

FUTURE OF INTERSERVE
 
Further to my Circular IR/116/19 25th March 2019, I write to advise branches that we have received correspondence from Network Rail and London Underground who are the client companies that contract Interserve to carry out cleaning and security. They have both confirmed that contingency plans are in place to ensure the continuity of service and the payment of wages should the company go bust. This will no doubt give some reassurance to members over the potential impact of any worsening of Interserve’s position.
 
In addition Network Rail has explicitly stated that where it makes financial sense they would embrace the opportunity to bring the work back in house. The NEC has considered this issue and instructed me to prepare a submission document to Network Rail making the case.
 
Branches will be kept fully informed of developments.
 
Yours sincerely
Mick Cash

ACCESSIBILITY OF THE UNION FOR DISABLED MEMBERS

ACCESSIBILITY OF THE UNION FOR DISABLED MEMBERS
 
You will recall that branches and regions were surveyed regarding the accessibility of the properties in which we hold our meetings.  Whilst this is essential information, this only considers physical properties and the Disabled Members’ Advisory Committee have requested that the union asks the broader question of how accessible it is in terms of its services to its membership.
 
Therefore the union is carrying out a survey of all its members to ask what we can do to remove any barriers to our services.  Do note a member does not have to identify as disabled to respond to this survey.  The survey can be accessed via this link: http://tinyurl.com/y3qgchdq
 
Please do remember, all branches and regions must consider the needs of their disabled members when arranging meetings.
 
Should you have any queries please contact our Equal Opportunities Officer, Jess Webb, on [email protected] or t:020 7529 8821.
 
Yours sincerely,
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Mick Cash
General Secretary

Bob Crow Anniversary Event – Saturday 8th June 2019

Bob Crow Anniversary Event – Saturday 8th June 2019

 

Further to Circular No. MF/24/19, 8th March 2019, I am writing to remind you of the commemorative event taking place at Millwall football club on Saturday 8th June 2019 from 7pm to midnight, which will include a buffet and refreshments.

 

As previously advised, this will be a ticketed event. Members will be allowed to bring partners, but numbers will be limited. Admittance is strictly by ticket only.

 

While tickets are free, it is necessary for the Union to confirm exact numbers for admittance and catering purposes. On this basis, should you, or any of your Branch members wish to attend, please ensure that you submit the following information to my Private Secretary, Adrian Scott ([email protected] / 020 7529 8805):

 

  • Member’s Name, Branch and Membership No.

 

Tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis, but members should ensure they will be able to attend before requesting a ticket. The tickets themselves will be issued to Branch secretaries for distribution to your members closer to the time of the event.

 

To assist with travelling arrangements, coaches from London Bridge to Millwall football club and the return journey will be provided on the day. Further details will be provided in this regard.

 

Please ensure that all requests for tickets to this event are submitted to my Private Secretary by 17.00 hours on Tuesday 7th May 2019.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mick Cash

MT / Cuba Solidarity Campaign 17th Garden Party: Wednesday 12th June 2018.

MT / Cuba Solidarity Campaign 17th Garden Party: Wednesday 12th June 2018.
 
In association with the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, the 17th RMT Annual Garden Party for Cuba will take place on Wednesday 12th June 2018 at Maritime House, Clapham, London, commencing 7.00pm.
 
Tickets are now available and are £15 each. This includes a free bar, buffet and music. As usual we will be joined by a number of distinguished guest speakers.
 
The Garden Party will provide a wonderful opportunity to show solidarity with Cuba with friends from across the Labour and Trade Union movement.
 
To order tickets if you are paying by card please call 0800 376 3706 or use the form attached.
 
I hope to be able to see you at the Garden Party on 12th June.
 
Yours sincerely
 
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Workers’ Memorial Day 2019

Dear Colleague

 

Workers’ Memorial Day takes place every year on 28 April. The purpose behind the day is to ‘remember the dead: fight for the living’ and events or memorial services to remember people killed through work will take place up and down the country.

Every year more people are killed at work than in wars. Most don’t die of mystery ailments, or in tragic “accidents”. They die because an employer decided their safety just wasn’t that important a priority.

 

Workers’ Memorial Day (WMD) commemorates those workers.

In 2019 International Workers Memorial Day will have the theme “dangerous substances – get them out of the workplace”. The focus was mainly on carcinogens but you could adapt the theme to whatever is most relevant in your workplace or area, as many substances can also cause illnesses such as asthma or dermatitis.
Two important issues are of course asbestos and diesel exhaust, Good health and safety for all workers whoever they are and will focus on inequalities in occupational health and the role unions play in narrowing the inequalities gap.

 

Find an event near you

 

See a full list of events at:

 

https://www.tuc.org.uk/workers-memorial-day-0

to find out what’s happening in your area. If you are organising an event for Workers Memorial Day and would like it displayed on these pages, then please email through the details to [email protected]

 

Resources

For resources on Workers Memorial day including ribbons and car stickers please contact the Greater Manchester Hazards Centre at:

 

[email protected] http://28april.org/

 

RMT Legal Update

Circular No: NP/067/19

 

Our Ref: LEG/04/19

 

8th April 2019

 

To: Branches, Regional Councils & Regional Offices

 

Dear Colleague

 

SPRING LEGAL UPDATE

 

1. Hargreaves v Governing Body of Manchester Grammar School

In cases of misconduct, employers have to have reasonable grounds for believing that their employee was guilty of misconduct and have to carry out a reasonable investigation. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that it was not unfair for the school to withhold witness statements from the claimant and the disciplinary panel which dismissed him.

 

Mr Hargreaves, a teacher with over ten years’ experience and a clean disciplinary record, was alleged to have grabbed a pupil, shoved him up against a wall and put two forefingers against his throat.

 

As part of its investigation, the school interviewed a number of witnesses three of whom had been present at the time of the incident, but who said that they had seen nothing untoward. Although there were other potential witnesses, the school decided not to formally interview them in order to prevent speculation and gossip. The information from the three witnesses were not disclosed to Mr Hargreaves or the disciplinary panel at the disciplinary hearing.

 

Following the hearing, he was dismissed. His appeal against the decision was unsuccessful.

 

Rejecting Mr Hargreaves’ argument that the investigation had been biased against him, the tribunal held that the decision taken by the school about who should be interviewed and who should not had fallen within the band of reasonable responses. It also found that it was within the reasonable range of responses for the school to decide not to inform Mr Hargreaves or the panel about interviews with people who said they had seen nothing.

According to the tribunal it did not follow that nothing had happened just because those individuals had seen nothing. The tribunal therefore concluded that, as the school had carried out a reasonable investigation, the dismissal was fair.

 

Mr Hargreaves appealed, arguing that given the career-changing impact of the allegations, the school’s investigation was inadequate. In particular, he argued that the tribunal was wrong about the school’s failure to disclose specific evidence from potential witnesses who all said they had seen nothing.

 

Dismissing the appeal, the EAT held that the tribunal had not lost sight of the potentially career-changing nature of the allegations against Mr Hargreaves and, in determining that the investigation met the requirements of the band of reasonable responses test, the tribunal had reached a permissible conclusion.

 

The EAT agreed with the tribunal’s finding that the three witnesses were unable to assist – although they had been present at the time of the incident, they had not seen anything untoward. The EAT noted that the area where the incident took place was crowded and that witnesses had spoken of over 100 pupils pushing and shoving their way through. The EAT also commented that this was not a case in which the claimant was unaware of the evidence in question, it was clear that he knew that the three individuals had been present in the area but he had not asked for statements to be obtained from them.

 

The facts of this case were unusual and it should not be regarded as establishing any general principle. It remains the case that any decision by an employer to withhold relevant evidence is likely to make a dismissal unfair. In this particular case, both the tribunal and the EAT were satisfied that the evidence of the three witnesses was not relevant. The case underlines the importance, for those representing members facing disciplinary hearings, of considering with the member whether or not there are any other witnesses the employer should interview and, if so, formally requesting that statements are taken from those witnesses.

 

2. British Airways v Pinaud

 

The law says that part-time workers cannot be treated less favorably than full-timers. The Court of Appeal held that it was clearly less favorable treatment for an employer to require a part-timer to work more than half of the hours of a full-timer but only pay them half of the salary.

 

Ms Pinaud started working full time for BA in 1985. On her return from maternity leave in 2005 she went part time until she took voluntary redundancy in 2015. On the same date she submitted a written grievance complaining that she had been discriminated against as a part-time worker, because although she was paid exactly 50 per cent of a full-time salary, she was required to be available to work 53.5 per cent of the time.

 

After her grievance was rejected, she brought a tribunal complaint arguing that she had been treated less favourably contrary to regulation 5(1)(a) of the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000. BA argued that as both full-time and part-time crew members had to “bid” for work such that actual hours worked could fluctuate, the annual basic salary of both part timers and full timers did not vary with the number of duty hours.

 

The tribunal found that as Ms Pinaud had to be available for 53.5 per cent of the days on which her comparator had to be available but was only paid 50 per cent of her salary, she had been treated less favourably. Although it agreed that BA had a legitimate aim, it held the less favourable treatment was not a necessary or appropriate means to achieve it. In other words, it could not justify the difference in treatment as all it had to do to remove the anomaly was to pay an annual salary of 53.5 per cent of the full-time salary.

 

BA appealed, arguing that the tribunal was wrong to ignore its statistical evidence showing that in practice Ms. Pinaud and her comparator worked more or less the same number of hours. The EAT agreed that the tribunal was correct that Ms. Pinaud had been subject to less favorable treatment but remitted the issue of justification to a newly constituted tribunal. BA appealed the finding of less favorable treatment.

 

Rejecting the appeal, the Court held that requiring Ms Pinaud to be available for 130 days rather than 121.5 days for a full-time worker clearly constituted less favorable treatment of a part timer.

 

The case now goes back to the tribunal again to hear BA’s justification defense. If that is rejected, then the tribunal will have to consider the issue of compensation. The Court of Appeal has already said, however, that it would “be a very surprising conclusion” if the tribunal then went on to award compensation of 3.5 per cent of her total remuneration over the ten-year period if it turns out that she actually worked fewer pro rata days than her comparator.

 

3. Immigration Matters

 

Increasingly, members have been contacting our helpline about their status as EU Nationals as a consequence of Brexit. Issues of Immigration can be complex which is why we refer members to specialist lawyers HOWE & Co.

 

They have advised us of the following:

 

  • EU Nationals and dependant family members residing and exercising treaty rights in the UK for over 5 years are eligible for Permanent Residence on being able to provide evidence of employment/self-employment/student with health insurance/self-sufficient – cost of application £65 per applicant.
  • EU National and dependant family members with Permanent Residence for over 1yr can apply to Naturalise as a British Citizen – cost of application is £1330 per applicant.
  • EU Nationals and dependant family members residing and exercising treaty rights in the UK for under 5 yrs are eligible for a Residence Card on being able to provide evidence of employment/self-employment/student with health insurance/self-sufficient – cost of application is £65 per applicant.

 

AFTER 30 March 2019

 

A new scheme has been introduced by government whereby an EU National and their dependant family members can apply online for Settled Status (if they have been residing for over 5yrs in the UK – no fee is applicable following a Ministerial U-Turn after 30 March 2019.

 

The fundamental difference between Settled Status and Permanent Residence is that the evidence required for Settled Status relies on utility bills supporting a residency test rather than employment documents proving treaty rights being engaged for Permanent Residence.

 

Members will need to act on the above points in order to allay employers’ concerns that they are legally entitled to work in the UK.

 

The same is true of members who are in the UK on Leave To Remain visas (i.e. within the British Immigration Rules) as the Home Office have now moved the majority of applications online and fees for extensions of Leave to Remain continue to rise (a typical extension application costs £2033 per applicant).

 

Our lawyers have seen evidence of Employers becoming more nervous of employing workers who have expiry dates on their visas and thus the need to ensure that appropriate and timely immigration applications are being made by members.

 

RMT representatives or Regional Office staff and Officers and Branch Secretaries are not able to advise on immigration matters, this includes for example assisting in the filling in of application forms, as it is a criminal offence to provide such advice unless the advisor is registered as an accredited person able to provide immigration advice. Negligent advice would leave an advisor open to both criminal and civil liabilities. Therefore the giving of any immigration advice by non-accredited advisors is not permitted.

 

Should any member have any questions regarding their Immigration status whether EN or Non EU National they are advised to seek advice from a professional. The RMT work with Howe and Co who are a specialist law firm specialising in Immigration Issues. Whilst Immigration advice falls outside the Unions Discretionary Legal Assistance Scheme, eligible members are free to contact the Howe helpline number on 020 8840 4688

 

Please bring these matters to the attention of members and activists

 

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary

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