Latest RMT Circular

July 27, 2015

23rd July 2015                                                             Circular No IR/175/15

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

RATES OF PAY & CONDITIONS OF SERVICE 2015 and NIGHT RUNNING – LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/0001)

 

Further to my previous Circular (IR/170/15, 17th July 2015), the union’s General Grades Committee yesterday considered the latest situation in our dispute with LUL over Pay and Night running. Firstly I wish to congratulate LUL members for their steadfast resolve and determination on the recent days of action. This magnificent show of solidarity sent a crystal clear message that members demand a decent offer to keep pay up with the cost of living and adequately compensates for the introduction of night running.

It is clear the continuous Overtime Ban is biting hard. So much so that management have been making desperate attempts to paper over the cracks by riding roughshod over our agreements which ensure the safety of staff and passengers alike. It has become so serious we have been forced to report LUL to the ORR over a series of breaches of safety protocol last weekend. Talks at ACAS were cancelled this week as we were called to attend an emergency meeting with the ORR to discuss these breaches.

The GGC had considered the matter and, in addition to the ongoing overtime ban, all members are instructed as follows: –

  • From 0330 hours Tuesday 28th July 2015, until further notice, members are instructed not to train or familiarise any London Underground Employee or contractor in any working practice/s that are not a normal, contractual and agreed job task work location of the trainee.

In addition from 0330 hours Tuesday 28th July 2015, until further notice, all Train Operators and Instructor Operators are instructed as follows: –

  • Drivers are instructed to check whether their train has been prepped within the previous 24 hours before bringing their train into service.
  • If the train has not been prepped within the previous 24 hours, do not bring the train into service. 
  • If the train has been prepped within the last 24 hours, but this has been carried out by unqualified personnel, do not bring the train into service.

 

We continue to try to resolve this dispute but LUL has failed to properly address our claim. Their current offer is totally divisive and they have completely failed to address the wider issues of your work/life balance caused by their reckless efforts to bulldoze through the introduction of Night Tube. The offer was designed to buy off the minority to the detriment of the majority – over two thirds of staff would not benefit from any payment for Night Tube. Furthermore, there was not any commitment to ensure that other grades would get a payment as and when Night Tube is rolled out across London Underground.

The recent strike days were rock solid and the ongoing overtime ban is having a drastic impact on their ability to run a service. Regrettably their actions to try to undermine the action have had such serious safety implications that, we have been forced to take this matter to the highest level of the Office of Rail Regulator.

In addition to the above the GGC has also instructed our Traincrew representatives as follows relation to the rostering of overtime: –

  • Traincrew representatives are instructed not to allocate duties on bank holidays incurring overtime. Every effort should be made not to allocate any overtime at all but if it becomes apparent that this is not possible, then you should withdraw from the process and inform management this is a union instruction.

LUL should be focusing their efforts on tabling a decent offer which rewards our members’ hard work and loyalty and genuinely compensates staff for dramatic affect Night running will have on working conditions.  I urge members to continue to stand firm and take the above action as well as continuing to adhere to the ongoing overtime ban. The strike action called from 5th August is still in place but in the meantime we will continue to seek a negotiated settlement.

I shall keep branches fully informed of any further developments.

 

INTRODUCTION OF AGENCY TRAINERS – FLEET – LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/13/2)

Branches will be aware that we have been in dispute with London Underground over the plan to use of Agency staff to undertake training. This action by management was in breach of the Fleet Core Work Agreement and the training organisation agreement reached in discussions at ACAS. On top of this there had been a total lack of consultation over this important issue.

Members on Fleet were balloted for strike action and action short of a strike which resulted in an overwhelming Yes Vote on both questions. The GGC called industrial action by instructing our trainer members not to train any contractor or non LUL employee, and no fleet member to attend any course run by a contract trainer. We also initiated a continuous overtime ban.

This action has been in place since 8th August since when our negotiating team have been in intensive talks with the company to resolve the matter. I am pleased to advise branches that we have now reached agreement with the company on the issues in dispute and consequently all industrial action in this dispute has been suspended.

Please Note: Fleet members remain instructed to take industrial action as per previous instructions under the Pay and Night tube dispute. 

The agreement reached is quoted below : –

  1. The existing agency trainers will be offered fixed term contracts on standard LU terms, including entitlement to the benefits afforded to permanent staff. These contracts will be for a minimum one year term. Any fixed term staff will be entitled to apply for permanent roles within the organisation, where they have the requisite skills and experience.
  1. Going forward, in line with existing arrangements, vacancies will continue to be offered to internal candidates with the appropriate skills, either on a permanent or secondment basis.
  1. However, there may be circumstances, for example due to time constraints or lack of internal skills where it may be necessary to engage external short term resources, for example where the skills do not exist within the organisation.
  1. In such circumstances the business will discuss with the recognised trade unions before making any such appointments. In addition, the business will update the Fleet Functional Council as and when there are significant changes in the forecast demand in that area. This will enable us to identify potential longer term roles for any fixed term contract employees on an ongoing basis.
  1. With regard to representation within the training area, as you know, under our existing agreed machinery, trainers are represented at the MATS Council as well as in the asset-based councils. Within those councils, both locally and at functional level, it is for the trade unions to decide upon their representatives, whilst remaining within the agreed numbers. Notwithstanding the above, we have in the past allowed other trade union members to attend and take part in consultation meetings where this is in the interest of good industrial relations. The Training re-organisation is a practical example of where this approach has worked well. Pending any future amendment to our agreed machinery we do not propose to alter this position.
  1. On the basis of the above, your trade union acknowledges the agreement for flexibility reached as part of the ACAS settlement relating to the Training reorganisation.

This agreement is a major achievement as, thanks to the solidarity of members, we have completely reversed the outsourcing of trainers. I would like to thank our fleet members for their unity and determination which has made this deal possible.

 

EVERY JOB MATTERS – DEFENDING JOBS ON LONDON UNDERGROUND (LUL/14/5)

Further to my previous Circular (IR/170/15, 17th July 2015) the General Grades Committee has considered and endorsed a resolution from Neasden Branch concerning our ongoing Every Job Matters dispute which is copied below in full.

“Strike action, taken by four unions on 8/9 July was a massive show of determination from tube workers to oppose LU’s imposition of more unsociable rosters and the FftF programme on stations. Fleet members also showed their opposition to the use of agencies in the provision of training.

We applaud the work done by our CofE member and RO in building a united response with the other trade unions and their counting work to bring together all transport workers under the TfL umbrella in further action. We also endorse the strategy employed to date of RMT negotiators in all three disputes.

We call on our negotiators to continue raising the following central demands:-

  • No member to be required to work a greater proportion of shifts as nights or weekends than are contained in equivalent local rosters now. Where members volunteer to work additional nights/weekends then additional time off will be given.
  • LU must address all outstanding issues of dispute between us.
  • No use of agency staff in training of LU Fleet maintenance members.
  • LU must agree to work towards a four day week for all staff covered by the current pay talks.

 

We endorse the decisions of the CofE to call two 24 hour strikes in conjunction with the other three recognised unions in the furtherance of these demands. We support the approach of the CofE, which has been to raise the issue of escalating action with the other unions but to prioritise the unity of four unions at this stage.

We condemn LUL for their divisive response to our action. It is clear that LUL are attempting to break the unity of tube staff by making different offers to train operators and refusing to suspend the implementation of station rosters while agreeing this on trains. RMT fight for a fair outcome for all grades and continue to seek support from all members for further strike action.”

The industrial action called to take place from 5th August is still in place along with the continuous overtime ban. I will keep branches informed of any further developments.

 

BREAKDOWN IN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS – INTERSERVE (LUL SSL/BCV CONTRACT) (LUL/14/2)

 

A resolution has been received from Finsbury Park Branch which is as follows: –

“Finsbury Park Branch calls on the General Secretary to conduct a ballot for industrial action among our Interserve cleaning members on LUL to deal with systematic deductions of pay from our members and routine harassment and dismissal of our members.”

Having considered the resolution, the General Grades Committee has decided to convene a meeting of our union reps and key activists in Interserve on LUL. The President and Secretary of the London Transport Regional Council will also be invited. This is to discuss how to take forward the issues raised in the resolution from Finsbury Park.

I will advise branches further as soon as the GGC has considered the matter further.

 

BREAKDOWN IN INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, TRAIN OPERATORS, PICCADILLY LINE – LONDON UNDERGROUND

 

The following resolution was submitted by Piccadilly and District West Branch which has now been considered by the GGC.

“This Branch is appalled at the sacking of Paul Okoro.

 The CDI panel made its judgement on Paul answering his phone while in control of train 251.

 This blatant misrepresentation of the facts; where even the main evidence against him from the trainer stated “he did not answer his phone till he was in the saloon”.

 We further note the deterioration of industrial relations on the Piccadilly Line with management acting with impunity over attendance/rainbow issues and failing to abide by these policies.

 Further we are aware that Train Operator Paul Davies from Arnos Grove is stood down for an issue involving a miscommunication where a signal operator involved has been given a corrective action plan whilst the train operator faces a company disciplinary.

 This Branch calls on the C of E to conduct a ballot of all Train Operators at Acton and Northfields train depots and after further discussions to extend this across the Piccadilly Line.”

The GGC has considered this matter and has noted the resolutions passed by both Finsbury Park and Piccadilly and District West branches on this issue.

 Following a meeting held between the C of E member for the region and officials of both branches and representatives in the area, the following issues were identified as being unsatisfactory and unresolved:

  • Breaches of agreed SPAD management processes with members being unnecessarily redeployed to stations grades despite agreements that different outcomes are possible. Further it was noted that there were identified issues of weak brakes on certain units of rolling stock on the line not being taken into account along with training for new drivers being cut from 20 weeks to 14 weeks with a consequent impact on SPAD and other safety incidents.
  • Breaches of LUL’s attendance management policies with the application of an arbitrary capability/rainbow attendance management scheme that is not incorporated into any of LUL’s policies and not written down. This is leading to our members who are fit and at work being called into meetings where they are threatened with attendance improvement targets which if not reached may end in their termination of employment with LUL. Also agreed attendance processes are being flouted and abused with machinery meetings being refused to address them.
  • Breaches of LUL’s Discipline at Work policy with items of performance being pursued to CDI and LDI outside of agreed processes and the continued dismissal of Bro Okoro being upheld despite appeal. This is a punitive application of this policy amounting to bullying and intimidation of our members and is not acceptable. The reinstatement of Bro Okoro is central to the resolution of this dispute.
  • Unresolved and unsatisfactory progress being achieved in the machinery of negotiation regarding the opening of Cockfosters depot with many issues being unresolved including the provision of adequate parking spaces for our members and other issues. The above issues are core but not exhaustive grievances of our members on the line.

We will therefore be declaring ourselves in dispute with London Underground on these matters and begin preparing a matrix for our Train Operators and Instructor operators members on the Piccadilly line for a ballot for strike and action short of strike action. Reasonable assistance will also be given to the branches in prosecuting this dispute, including publicity and reasonable loss of earnings for activists to campaign on these issues on the line and deliver a strong yes vote.

 RATES OF PAY AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE 2015- TUBE LINES (LUL/0001)

The following resolution was received from LU Engineering Branch concerning our Tube Lines Pay claim: –

“This Branch notes that the reps voted unanimously for industrial action over the issue of pay and night tube.

 We therefore ask that the GGC acts on those wishes and instructs the Regional Organiser to obtain a final offer from Tube Lines on both issues as a matter of urgency and certainly by the end of July. If the offer is not significantly improved then the members are balloted for strike and action short of strike.”

 The GGC has considered this resolution and I will be seeking a significantly improved offer from Tube Lines. However if this is not received, Tube Lines members will be balloted for industrial action. I am in the process of preparing a ballot matrix in line with this decision and will keep branches informed of developments.

 

RATES OF PAY AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE 2015 – EXTERION MEDIA (LUL/0001)

Negotiations for our members’ pay claim have concluded and the following offer has been accepted by the GGC:-

  • A 2% increase backdated to 1st April 2015.

The Company has been informed of our acceptance and I have requested that the increase and any back monies are paid at the earliest opportunity. The outstanding issues will be dealt with in three months’ time at a formal meeting with the Company and our representatives.

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