Notes of Company Council Meeting No 57
Held on Wednesday 1st June, 2016, at Westferry Circus.
John Edmonds, Chairman
Andy Derbyshire, Head of AP JNP
Terry Deller, ER LUL TfL
Brian Whitehead, RMT Full Time Officer.
Bill Teale, RMT
Russ Clark RMT
Paul O’Brien, RMT
Michael Hogg, RMT
Jason Cullen, RMT
Kelly Berry, RMT
Stephen Wakefield ASLEF
Peter Bickers ASLEF
Tony Wheeler, FTO TSSA
Gene Walton, TSSA
- Apologies for absence Wayne Geoghegan Rebecca Shah, Mel Taylor, Mark Langridge, Phil Rigby-Faux, Terry Wilkinson and Mark Alden.
- Minutes of previous meeting number 56, held 9th March, 2016 approved, two minor spelling errors corrected.
- Review of action list:
- RMT believe that there are still individuals being issued with TFL contracts of employment without consultation, agreement or discussion. JE asked RMT Reps to provide examples and the matter can be investigated.
3.2 RMT asked for the Ill Health Process to be re-circulated.
3.3 Paul O’Brien advised that plans to move Rail Lubricators were being finalised and so far going well.
- The PMA Role Overview (Nicola O’Callaghan)
Nicola O’Callaghan (NOC) asked the staff reps what their issues are with the PMA role/model within AP JNP. She advised that once she has an understanding of the concerns she can set about dealing with the issues.
JE commented that at the last meeting Rebecca Shah had told the meeting that PMA role was just to advise line managers on policy and process.
BW observed that the PMAs do not do what they should be doing at the appeal stage of any issue because the person is usually the same person as advised the line manager at the original hearing and are therefore not impartial. They interrupt appeals and ask questions of the individual and are therefore clearly not advising on process or policy. He went on that there has been a good system in Tube Lines and that the TfL way of operating is not correct or in keeping with local practice. He asked that the former system be re-introduced.
NOC disagreed with this view. She said that the PMA is not present at these hearings to keep quiet and did need to ask questions when necessary in order to get clarity. She agreed that the PMA was not in attendance to cross examine individual but the manager needed to hear any case properly.
Michael Hogg (MH) pointed out that interaction should only be with the chair of the hearing.
NOC responded that it should require a common sense approach.
Tony Wheeler (TW) pointed out that if the current practice is not stopped it could be potentially embarrassing for TfL. He pointed out that the company needed to comply with statutory requirements and failure to observe these requirements as LUL has found to its cost, results in losing ET cases.
BW stated that TfL has caused the problem by trying to change the process without agreement.
NOC observed that the problem is one of lack of independence as matters are escalated.
Bill Teale (BT) said that TfL is changing an agreement that had been made with Tube Lines and they do not have the right to make that change.
TW asked if is the case that TfL is imposing its process on Tube Lines as a matter of principle.
Russ Clark pointed out that at a meeting a while ago Rebecca Shah advised the TU representatives that TfL were going to change some wording in the Tube Lines agreements and that the revisions would be sent to the Unions. He said that this had not been done and there has been a breakdown in communications. He concluded that the documents have not been agreed yet.
BW asked what was going to be done about the situation.
Andy Derbyshire (AD) said he would need to take advice.
TW asked that use of these revised procedures be suspended until agreement is reached.
BW said that a meeting was needed to discuss the changes.
Ad said he would take away and speak to Colin Game and get back with a response.
- Trade Union Issues
5.1 Pay and Night Tube and 5.2 Pensions.
BW stated that an agreement on pensions was reached including the reduction of 371 posts due to the introduction of new technology that would ‘pay’ for pensions. He said that agreement had also been reached on the timescales through to 2019, 2020 and 2021. He said that there was then a problem with the actual wording of the agreement and TfL wanted a no strike clause in the agreement. He went on to say that an alternative form of words was drafted which said that we would not strike as long as the agreement was adhered to. He went on that since then there has been no feedback and now no one will talk to us about the issue.
He went on that the company then wanted to talk about Pay and Night Tube but nothing on Pensions. He said that the RMT had been accused of linking pay and night tube with pensions but the discussion on pensions has been on-going since 2012, well before pay and night tube. He concluded that the RMT position now is that they will only talk about pay and night tube when the pension issue is resolved.
He went on to say that he been present in 2012 when Mike Brown, at one of his pre-Olympic road shows, said that all would be ok on pensions. So now he has either changed his mind or had his mind changed for him.
He said that he understands that Steve Griffiths is supposed to be reviewing things but there has been no outcome as yet although LUL has now reversed an earlier decision and re-opened the fund for transfers-in. He closed by observing that although this is a Tube Lines meeting, there is no representative from TfL to be able to provide answers. He said that the recent ballot had an 85% yes vote for action and the RMT wanted action because they are fed up with talking and the buck should stop with Mike Brown.
Terry Deller (TD) responded by clarifying that it had been made very clear throughout the pension discussions that it was always going to need an extra layer of approval.
BW acknowledged that he had told them that.
TD went on to say that although the two parties had come close to reaching agreement, the significant changes to senior management personnel had impacted on the discussions. He observed that had Phil Hufton remained the matter may well be in a different place but he is no longer in post. He also pointed out that there is a new commissioner, a new CE, a new MD and a new Mayor and things had made things substantially more difficult. In the current economic climate £15m is a massive amount of money at a time when TfL need to save £2.8B.
He said that he understood the frustration but prevailing circumstances are very different now.
He then said that he understood that ACAS have now been in contact and a suggestion has been made that the two sides meet week commencing 6th June, 2016.
BW said that TD had only stated the obvious. He referred back to the plan presented by Tim Keogh with a summary of the savings that would be made if the posts went.
He felt that the matter should have been referred to a higher level much sooner but all that has happened is that the TU reps have been kept in the dark.
He said that he understood that Phil Hufton had been the driving force but he said that there must have been some trust placed on the negotiating team to obtain the best possible deal.
He concluded by saying that in his eyes and those of his members, there is always something that is considered more important than pensions and the figures used were the company’s figures and no one else’s. He said that pay and night tube would be a formality if pensions are given.
AD commented that the travel concessions have been granted as a goodwill gesture and now there is an opportunity to discuss further with ACAS next week.
BW Said he wasn’t optimistic. He said that John Woods from ACAS had been in touch with the RMT and claimed that Jean Cockerill didn’t even know that agreement had been reached on the 371 job losses.
AD asked if the TU reps were willing to talk about pay and night tube.
BW said there was no chance.
5.3 Tampers Agreement
BW said that under the Tamper Agreement, staff were paid the full rate of pay as soon as they were passed out as drivers and now this agreement is not being adhered to. There are two people now not being paid in accordance with this agreement.
AD said that if the agreement has been made it should be honoured and if someone wants to change it, they should negotiate the changes. He said that he would look into the matter.
5.4 CSS Bonus Scheme
RC asked when the CSS bonus payment is due to be paid.
TD said that he would find out and the information would be conveyed to the representatives.
5.5 recruitment Freeze
RC said that he understood that there is now a freeze on all recruitment.
AD confirmed that headcount is being reviewed across TfL because the new mayor has been very challenging over non-permanent labour across the whole of TfL.
He went on to say that if a role is safety critical or business critical there is a process to follow. He said that the process is still being refined and all on-going recruitment needs to be justified just as it always has been in Tube Lines.
BW asked if roles were being covered by contractors instead.
AD advised that bringing in contractors was really difficult now but would be required to meet the fluctuations in workload. But he said that where there are gaps on the roster that create difficulty to deliver workload they would be filled.
BW asked if promotions are being blocked.
AD confirmed that they are not.
5.6 Fit Notes
Steve Wakefield asked if a member of staff produced a fit note stating they are fit to do alternative duties, and where there are no alternative duties, whether the individual is considered to be off sick.
JE said that he was not sick but could be asked to report for duty on a daily basis to establish if there is alternative duties that he can do.
SW asked that the local manager be advised.
5.7 Bank Holiday Working
Steve Wakefield asked if there could be consideration being given to changing the current rules about bank holiday working.
AD stated that this had been a part of the ASLEF pay claim and that he is willing to talk about everything in relation to how staff are deployed as long as it does not introduce higher cost to the business.
Planned Meetings for 2016
September 7th 2016
December 1st 2016
Andy Derbyshire, John Edmonds, Terry Deller ,Rebecca Shah, Brian Whitehead, Bill Teale, Russ Clark, Paul O’Brien, Phil Rigby-Faux, Mark Langridge, Kelly Berry, Terry Wilkinson, Stephen Wakefield , Gene Walton, Wayne Geoghegan, Hugh Roberts, Martin Coppen, Ian Bailey, Paul Rankin, Simon Pateman, Tony Wheeler