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TfL Central TSSA Newsletter - November 2011

15 November 2011

Taxi jobs under threat, Project Horizon update, conference, nominations and more.

100 jobs under threat in London Taxi and Private Hire
While most of the company are focussed on the massive cuts programme 'Project Horizon', the Director of Taxi and Private Hire is trying to sneak through a plan to privatise the Compliance and Driver Licensing functions - around two-thirds of the directorate.  This ideologically-driven plan will see a core function of TfL - regulation of the Taxi and Private Hire trades - placed in the hands of the same kind of private firms who have so expensively failed to deliver on contracts right across the public sector (just think of the Tube PPP!) because they are interested in their own profits rather than providing a public service.
STaN - Sending Taxi Authorities North?
Documents seen by TSSA which attempt to justify this proposal show that a large portion of the so-called benefits would only be realised if 68 jobs in Driver Licensing are moved out of central London to one of the bidders' offices - in Coventry or Northampton!  For all TfL's talk of 'Safer Travel at Night', it is difficult to see how they could move the licensing of London's 28,000 black cabs and 50,000 private hire vehicles 100 miles north without affecting passenger safety.
Is your department next?
As part of Project Horizon, TfL are already looking at other functions they think are 'low-hanging fruit' that are ripe for outsourcing.  The Customer Proposition workstream is gearing up to privatise London's Travel Information lines and there could be others in the pipeline that we don't yet know about.  We need to stand together to defend jobs, defend the services we provide and defend London's travelling public from this dogma of cuts and privatisation.
Your unions are fighting to oppose this and we need your help to lobby the TfL Board
The proposals, revealed to staff just two weeks ago, need to be approved by the Finance Committee on November 23rd and by the full TfL Board on December 7th.  This meeting of the TfL Board is the critical path for the project, as failure to gain approval here will set the programme back to the extent that the handover date in April 2013 cannot be met - and all the predicted savings will be wiped out by an expensive interim arrangement to extend an existing contract.
If we can build a strong, united campaign to lobby TfL Board members against this proposal, we can stop it. 
Please support your LTPH colleagues by contacting Board members and London Assembly members to let them know what you think of these damaging, unfair and inevitably costly proposals today.
Please contact the local reps for LTPH, Nicola Danvers and Dimitris Phanos for more information about the campaign.

Project Horizon: update on Non-Permanent Labour
Your union has, over an extended period of time been putting pressure on TfL regarding the use of non-permanent labour. 

We are now able to shed light on the scale of this - and the figures are shocking.
Well in excess of 1000 roles are being filled by contractors and agency staff, in functions ranging from Engineering and Project Management, right across the business through Finance, Marketing, Admin and many other areas.  And, believe it or not, this doesn't even include consultants working through call-off contracts or framework agreements (which bypass recruitment procedures) - and we doubt the company even know how many of these arrangements exist.
While the exact process by which the Clearing House will work for Horizon (and beyond) is yet to be agreed, your union will continue to put pressure on management to ensure that every possible role currently filled by NPL is included.  One thing is clear - there can be no justification for any compulsory redundancies out of Project Horizon, and TSSA will be making sure the company are held to account for their promises about support and training for any staff who need this to adapt to new roles.

Please contact company council representative Ian Crawford for more information.
Spread the Word - new branch website
As part of our continued efforts as a union to improve communications, we are launching this week a new branch website at and a Twitter feed @TSSAatTfL.  This will allow us to post more regular blogs and articles about the issues affecting members in TfL, in addition to these regular monthly newsletters.  If you have any ideas for topics, or would like to write a blog for the branch, please get in touch!
Motions to TSSA Conference 2012
TSSA Annual Conference 2012 will be held in Cardiff between 23-26 May.  This is the highest level body of the union, which sets the policy for the following years.  As a branch we can submit two motions to the conference - a way to gain support, attention and resources from the rest of the union for the issues facing our members in TfL.  If you would like to propose a motion, or suggest any topics for inclusion, please let us know.  Motions will be discussed and debated at the next branch meeting on Tuesday 13th December (5pm, room 10A Windsor House).  Please contact Branch Secretary, Tom MacLachlan with any ideas or proposals.
Your Union Needs You!  Nominations for 2012
At the next branch meeting on Tuesday 13th December (5pm, room 10A Windsor House) we will have the opportunity to nominate members to the positions listed below. 
We would like any members who would like more information on the positions, or are interested in putting themselves forward, to please let Branch Secretary Tom MacLachlan know as soon as possible.  In the event of more candidates coming forward than the branch are able to nominate, a vote would be held at the branch meeting; if TSSA receive more nominations from branches than the Association is able to nominate, a postal ballot of all members would be held.  We also require delegations to be gender-balanced where possible.
TSSA positions
TSSA Scrutineers x2 (to provide oversight of any TSSA elections in 2012)
TSSA Standing Orders Committee x4 (for 2012 Conference - cannot also be a conference delegate)
Note: TSSA Conference will be held in Cardiff 23-26 May 2012.  2 delegates from TfL Central branch will be sought prior to the nomination deadline of May 1st.
TUC Delegations
TSSA Delegation for TUC Women's Conference x3 (London, 14-16 March 2012)
TSSA Delegation for TUC Young Member's Conference x4 (London, 23-25 March 2012 - must be under 27)
TSSA Delegation for Trades Union Congress x4 (Brighton, 10-13 September 2012)
Labour Party (minimum one year's party membership required at time of conferences)
TSSA Delegation for Labour Party Conference x4 (Manchester, 30 Sept-4 October 2012)
TSSA Delegation for Labour Party Women's Conference x3 (Manchester, 29-30 Sept 2012 tbc)
Interested in being a prospective parliamentary candidate? We can nominate up to eight members to the TSSA Parliamentary Panel (minimum of two years party membership required)

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