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ACAS Talks: 24 November 2010 - TSSA & RMT position statement

24 November 2010

We believe that the key outstanding issues in the dispute are:

- The impact on safety, for both staff and tube travellers, of the proposed cuts in staffing levels.
- The failure by London Underground to address the numerous collective grievances (relating to both health and safety and work/life balance) which have been submitted by staff.
- The lack of an equality impact assessment of the OSP on London Underground’s compliance with the public sector equality duty (section 149 Equality Act 2010) particularly in regard to women and disabled travellers.
- The ‘cut-off’ point of ticket sales that London Underground is using to trigger closure of ticket offices. The figure London Underground is using is 30 tickets an hour which is three times the cut-off point agreed between us in 2008 (10), two and a half times the cut off point used on the rail network (12), and, we understand, double the figure originally proposed to the London Underground Board (15).
- Finally, there has been no discussion of ‘other factors relevant to the customer’ including the evolving role of ticket office staff in the provision of information and resolving problems with Oyster cards.

It is our belief that these discussions and evaluations need to take place before the implementation of the OSP. Indeed, some relate to the employer’s legal obligations (including under the Health and Safety at Work Act, and the Equality Act)

It is also clear from the example at Chesham that when properly scrutinised (in that case by the Mayor’s office) some at least of the proposed ticket office closures will have to be amended.

In our view it is wholly inappropriate to continue with the rushed implementation of these proposals when the above talks, scrutiny and evaluation have not been completed

We therefore make the following offer:

On condition that the employer commits to entering into meaningful discussions on the issues listed above and accepts that until those discussions are complete it will suspend the implementation of the OSP, then the TSSA would be in a position to recommend to its reps that they suspend the current programme of industrial action.

We believe that if the above discussions are entered into in good faith, and are cascaded down to the appropriate level (with reference back to a central review body) these issues can be resolved in a period of 12 weeks.

We believe that maintaining a safe tube service, which meets its legal equality duties, and in which the travelling public and your staff (our members) can have confidence, justifies this commitment of time and energy.

The alternative is a continued deterioration in industrial relations, an escalation of industrial action and attempts to run a service in which neither the travelling public nor London Underground staff can have confidence.

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