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TSSA members at TfL say "PfP Off!"

31 August 2014

An update on action short of strike, and guidance on non-participation in the P&D process and the forthcoming mid-year reviews.

TSSA members in bands 1-3 voted overwhemlingly in favour of strike action and action short of strike. Our ongoing industrial action has come about because of TfL’s failure their refusal to engage in meaningful negotiations with the recognised trade unions – despite more than 9 months of supposed ‘discussions’, during which TfL have deliberately failed to engage with members concerns. The increasing arrogance and contempt for long-serving, hardworking staff which exists amongst SOME of TfL senior management is demonstrated by the recent decision to impose:

  • Pay proposals that will mean a long-term pay freeze and pension cut for TfL staff
     
  • A Perfomance & Development review system that is highly subjective and inherently unfair, and that seeks to formalise and embed the increasing trend in TfL towards cronyism and an “if your face fits” culture

Let’s be clear; TfL’s current behaviour and strategy constitutes a fundamental attack upon trade union recognition at TfL. If they are allowed to impose their existing proposals then our other terms and conditions – including travel benefits and pension benefits – will come under attack next. If Tricia Riley gets her way, 2014 could be the last time that we EVER get a pay rise!

The strike action and action short of strike being taken by staff across TfL is putting senior management under increasing pressure, and their arrogant belief that they can treat TfL staff with contempt is beginning to crack under the weight of YOUR sustained collective action. TfL management are not united; it’s up to us to keep up the pressure to ensure that common sense and decency prevail. Our continued industrial action is key to making that happen:

ACTION SHORT OF STRIKE

This is ongoing, and will cease only when TfL management engage in meaningful consultation with the recognised trade unions. Union members are therefore asked to continue with the following:

- Not to participate in the Peformance & Development Review process

- Not to work beyond your contractual hours. This includes all non-contractual overtime, refusing out of hours phone calls, taking full meal breaks and VDU breaks.

· Not to volunteer for Travel Ambassador duties or any other duties outside their Job Description

- Not to buddy or mentor agency staff with Customer Experience roles

GUIDANCE TO MEMBERS REGARDING MID-YEAR REVIEWS

As you know, it will soon be time for the TfL mid-year P&D reviews, and we have become aware that some staff in TfL are experiencing increasing pressure from senior management to participate in the P&D process, including being asked to ‘agree’ objectives written for them by management, or to take part in 1-2-1s or mid-year reviews for themselves or for their direct reports.

This pressure from TfL is completely unacceptable; the company has been clearly notified that trade union members are taking part in LAWFUL industrial action, and that this means that union members will “not participate in the Performance and Development Review process”. If you do encounter any difficulties, pressure or threat of sanctions as a result of taking action, please get in touch immediately.

Negotiations between TfL and the trade unions about the P&D process are scheduled for September, with a further review in October. It is critical that we keep up the pressure upon them through action short of strike and do not participate in mid-year reviews or any aspect of the P&D process. The new system – imposed by TfL – is deeply flawed and if implemented will lead to unfair and unworkable outcomes for staff.

If TfL is willing to enter into meaningful negotiations about the P&D process, and take into account the deeply felt concerns and views of TfL staff, then we are sure that union members may be willing to reconsider their boycott of this process. But we are not there yet and our non-participation in the mid-year reviews will send a clear message to TfL that we do not accept their actions in ignoring the views of their committed staff by imposing unfair and unworkable proposals for pay, pensions and performance reviews.

MID YEAR REVIEWS: ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. Should I take part in the mid-year P&D review.

A. No. As a union member you are taking lawful industrial action, which includes non-participation in the P&D process. This includes all aspects of the P&D process, including objective setting and the mid-year review.

Q. What do I do if my manager sends me a list of objectives for me to ‘agree’?

A. You should notify – or remind - your manager/employer that you are taking action short of strike which includes none participation in the P&D process, which includes ‘agreeing’ objectives. You can do this by sending this MODEL LETTER.

Q. I am a manager and have direct reports. What do I do if I have received “reasonable management instructions” to conduct mid-year reviews or otherwise engage in the P&D process - or if I am asked by TfL to confirm that will be conducting mid-year reviews for my direct reports?

A. You should inform – or remind – your employer that you are undertaking lawful industrial action that includes non-participation in the P&D process. You can do this by sending this MODEL LETTER.

Q. As we are opposed to the imposed P&D system, can we record our objectives on the old form or on a ‘blank piece of paper’?

A. No. Regardless of which form – or non-form - is used in the P&D process, all objectives will be recorded on SAP using the new, unfair and highly subjective P&D process which prioritises ‘Behaviours’ over performance and delivery. Our action short of strike involves non-participation in ALL aspects of the P&D process.

Q. Will I lose out on a pay rise for 2014 if I don’t participate in the P&D process?

A. Your trade unions believe that competent managers can adequately assess staff performance through BAU line management, without reference to TfL’s P&D forms. In fact, we know that in some parts of the business, P&Ds do not take place on a regular basis or even at all.

Your performance rating for 2014-15 will have no bearing upon the pending 2014 pay settlement, which is still to be negotiated by your trade unions. Non-payment of any uplift in pay (should there be one next year) to staff who have undertaken industrial action (by refusing to participate in P&Ds) is likely to be unlawful victimization.

Q. What can TfL do if I don’t participate in my P&D process?

A. Refusing to participate in your P&D review could be considered as part performance of your role. Legal advice has been sought by your Unions. In this instance, the employer has a number of options. They can:
1. Refuse part performance and lock out staff, without pay.
2. Accept part performance and negotiate to resolve the problem.
3. Dock a portion of staffs’ salaries.

These are clearly worst case scenarios, but we must advise you that these are possible outcomes. That said, if P&D reviews can – and will – be carried out following the duration of industrial action it could be argued that the employer has/will lose nothing by the refusal of staff to participate during industrial action (the review will take place, just at a later date).

Your Union would need to take a position on this matter if the employer attempted to raise this issue with staff.

The issue of part performance potentially applies to all those staff who are currently undertaking action short of strike. Thus far we have not aware of any cases in which this has led to any sanction by the employer and we would therefore urge all members to continue to withhold your participation in the new P&D process imposed upon staff.

However, if you encounter any difficulties, pressure or threat of sanctions as a result of taking action, please get in touch immediately.

Additional guidance regarding non-participation in the P&D process can be found on the TfL Union’s Together website:

http://tflunionstogether.org/faq/#short

If you like more information or want to get involved in the campaign against Pay for Performance contact Mel Taylor, TSSA Organiser: taylorm@tssa.org.uk.

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