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London Underground Update: the strike is on

6 July 2015

London Underground management has refused further talks at ACAS tomorrow. Consequently, the 24 hour strike by all four unions in London Underground will go ahead, starting at 18.30 on Wednesday, 8 July.

We have made it clear to ACAS that we need time to consider the current offer from LUL and are available for talks to continue tomorrow, and for as long as it takes to reach agreement.TSSA seeks meaningful engagement on pay, Night Tube, FFTFS, terms & conditions and working practices. We believe that LUL’s current approach to these negotiations is unacceptable and that they have little interest in reaching an agreement.

As it stands, LUL's latest offer goes no way to addressing some of the key concerns of staff with regard to Night Tube, Fit for the Future Stations programme (meaning close of ticket offices and staff cuts) or meaningful negotiation and consultation. Recent talks at ACAS have been a continuation of the 'charade' of negotiation and consultation conducted by LUL management over recent months.

London Underground Gives Ultimatum

At 12.30 today Steve Griffiths, LU COO, presented a revised ‘full and final offer’ to the unions, with the ultimatum that all four unions had until 18.30 to accept the offer in full and agree to withdraw from all industrial action – with no further discussion to take place – or the offer would be withdrawn.

Your TSSA representatives, along with the three other recognised trades unions, proposed instead that talks should reconvene at 12 noon tomorrow in order to us give time to consult and consider LUL’s proposals. This was rejected outright by London Underground management, who have indicated that they will not return to talks tomorrow.

LUL's "Full & Final Offer"

Whilst LUL has improved the headline pay offer, it has worsened the offer to our members for Night Tube. The divisive new proposals mean that a £500 one-off non-consolidated payment will be paid to some staff, but not others, regardless of the ongoing impact of Night Tube on those staff. In addition, staff are being asked to accept a pay deal for Night Tube without knowing the full implications it will have upon their jobs and working practices.

LUL’s approach to these talks is typical of its approach to engagement with the recognised trades unions over the last 18 months, during which there has been a no commitment to meaningful negotiation or consultation.

Background to the dispute

Talks about FFTFS have been ongoing for over 18 months, with LU management failing to meaningfully negotiate or consult with the recognised trades unions. It is five months since TSSA, alongside RMT, ASLEF and Unite, began pay talks with London Underground. LU management have been lacklustre in their engagement, and have insisted that any settlement on pay was conditional upon reaching an agreement on Night Tube.

Following industrial action ballots, in which members of all four recognised trades unions voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, talks began at ACAS, but little progress has been made so far.

We have emphasised to London Underground that our dispute is not only about pay, but about a range of outstanding issues, as outlined below:

  • Rates of pay and conditions of service in connection with the 2015 annual pay review;

  • 2015 annual pay review linked to the introduction of night tube and London Underground’s failure to negotiate separately on proposed changes to working practices impacting upon terms and conditions of service;

  • Failure to meaningfully consult on the health and safety implications associated with Night Tube;

  • Failure to honour commitments reached at ACAS in 2014 regarding Fit for the Future Stations involving job cuts and closure of station ticket offices

  • Failure to negotiate in accordance with the machinery for collective bargaining and failure to adhere to framework agreements covering staffs’ terms and conditions of service

TSSA will continue to work alongsde RMT, ASLEF and Unite to reach a fair and acceptable deal for our members in London Underground.

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