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Station Staffing Review

2 March 2011

London Midland commenced consultation yesterday on their proposals for major cuts to Station Services staffing and ticket office opening hours. The proposals will affect 86 of their 90 staffed ticket offices, remove 122 full-time and 8 part-time posts, close 9 ticket offices, and reduce opening hours at the remaining 77 stations by between 45 minutes and 14 hours per day.

The trade unions were given no prior notice of what the meeting was about, nor were we given an advance copy of the consultation document. The first we knew of the plans was when the meeting opened at 10:30 yesterday. The Company claims this was necessary so they could co-ordinate the announcement with affected staff and outside bodies. The result of this was staff being briefed on the headlines at the same time as your representatives were, and then being left to worry about the exact impact on their jobs until more detail was released at 16:00 later that day. This is completely unacceptable and does little to support what London Midland has said about wanting to carry out the consultation in line with the Company values.

London Midland has agreed that consultation with the trade unions will run for at least 90 days from 1 March 2011, and propose to stagger implementation from June to October 2011 subject to consultation. However, they are also required to carry out both public and stakeholder consultations in addition to this to gain approval from the Department for Transport (DfT) to change their Schedule 17 obligations (which governs ticket office opening hours). The public consultation process will run from 1st to 22nd March 2011, and the consultation process with the DfT, Passenger Focus, and other bodies will run from 1st to 29th March 2011.

The company stated that sales via ticket offices had declined from 52.4% of total sales to 44.3% over the past three years. They also provided us with detailed information on two monitoring periods (15/11/09 to 12/12/09 and 9/5/10 to 29/5/10) where they measured ticket sales and referenced these against the DfT criteria of an average of 12 ticket issues per hour. This data has formed the basis of their review proposal, and we have asked for further information from more recent periods to substantiate this. The 9 offices planned to close are Adderley Park, Bescot Stadium, Cheddington, Duddeston, Jewellery Quarter, Lye, Small Heath, Witton, and Wythall. The Company has provided detailed information to us on proposed staffing levels and opening hours for the remaining 77 stations and we are currently considering this information with a view to submitting a counter-proposal.

Due to the large number of posts currently left vacant, the proposals may result in 70 redundancies (both full-time and part-time). Additionally, the proposed creation of 45 new part-time posts is significant, and could be regarded as the first step towards replacing full-time jobs with part-time jobs.

We are extremely disappointed that London Midland is proposing such drastic reductions, which we believe will have a significant and damaging impact on both staff and customers alike. After receiving more than £250m subsidy from the public purse since November 2007, and significantly increasing fares over the same period, these proposed cuts seem to be more about maintaining profits and shareholder dividends than improving the service.

Further meetings will be taking place over the coming weeks and we will of course notify you of any developments as they arise. Meanwhile, if you require any further information on the contents of this circular, please contact your staff reps in the first instance. Please also discuss the contents of this circular with your colleagues, and encourage any non-members to join. The more members we have, the stronger our negotiating position becomes. Membership application forms can be obtained from your TSSA reps. Alternatively, call the membership hotline on 020 7529 8018 or join on-line at www.tssa.org.uk

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