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Message from TSSA General Secretary to members striking at TfL

9 May 2014

From General Secretary Manuel Cortes

08 May 2014

Dear Colleague

I am writing to offer my personal support to all our members taking strike action for the first time at TfL.

It is a hard thing to go on strike, particularly when we really believe in delivering a high quality public service. But, there are moments in all our lives when the easy thing to do is not necessarily the right thing to do.

We did not ask for this dispute. It was created by TfL through their traditional combination of arrogance and incompetence. They have continued to refuse to discuss the key issues in dispute – market-related pay, reduced pay ranges, collective pay negotiations, pension cuts – either face to face or at ACAS.

We have offered a number of ways to “meet in the middle” and reach a just and fair settlement. We have offered to negotiate a new wage structure; we have offered to help find cost savings; we have offered to work with TfL on performance issues. TfL have simply refused to explore our proposals in any meaningful sense.

The simple fact is that TfL are treating staff with contempt. I am proud that TSSA members have decided to stand up and say clearly that you deserve better.

This is a battle with real consequences. If TfL are allowed to continue down the path they are treading (under pressure from the right-wing press and politicians) then TfL as the relatively benign employer we know now will disappear.

Your pay, pension and any security of employment will be eroded while your Unions will be hamstrung in defending staff interests. This is the vision that Tricia Riley and the errant Knight, Sir Peter Hendy, have for your future.

We are striking for a different vision – a quality public service delivered by a highly skilled workforce, fairly treated and fairly rewarded.

I thank you for your determination to stand up and do the right thing, the hard thing. Together we do have the power to make a difference.

In Solidarity

Manuel signature
Manuel Cortes
General Secretary

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