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TSSA/RMT joint letter on station cuts

28 July 2014

Read the latest joint position of TSSA and RMT on the Tube station cuts...

 

 

 

Phil Hufton

Chief Operating Officer

London Underground Ltd

Floor 5, 15 Westferry Circus

London

E14 4HD

24th July 2014

Dear Phil

Our trade unions have been taking part in discussions with LU for several months at a Joint

Working Party (JWP) of the LU Company Council. We have sought to engage with LU and

have made many counter-proposals to both the principle and details of your fit for the future

proposals.

After eight months of discussions not a single job has been restored, we still face 953 job

cuts. Thousands of our members face the prospect of downgrading with consequent loss of

substantive salary. Every ticket office is still to close by the end of 2015.

Our trade unions urge London Underground to reconsider the new staffing model you have

proposed. Your proposals require you to displace up to 1200 skilled and trained staff who

currently work, mainly in Central London stations, issuing tickets, servicing POMs and

running control rooms – into roles that will involve applying new operational skills in a totally

different environment of lone working on local stations. At the same time, you propose to

displace hundreds of supervisors, who have these operational skills, into Central London to

take on new roles running control rooms. In addition you will seek to displace every CSA

who works on a local station, including many part-time staff who are unlikely to be able

make long journeys to work.

Salary Guarantee

At ACAS on 5.5.14 you committed London Underground to offer a post to all staff, who are

in the scope of fit for the future stations, with no loss of substantive pay. You further

undertook to discuss with the trade unions how you could achieve this without unnecessary

or unacceptable displacements. It was further stated by LU, at the JWP, that no member of

staff would have to apply for a role in order to maintain their current salary.

At the JWP on 17.6.14 the TUs were presented with the principles by which LU intends to

implement its proposed staffing model. In contrast to your previous commitment it was

made clear to us that in order for our displaced members to retain their substantive salary

they would have to pass assessments of their competence to perform new roles and they

would have to accept whatever location LU proposes for them.

Specifically, the following conditions have been applied to the “salary guarantee”:

1. SSMFs will be required to pass a control room assessment in order to move

into CSS1 positions

2. CSAMFs and SCRAs will be required to pass a station supervisor

assessment in order to move into CSS2 positions

3. Members of stafff who do not pass an assessment that LU requires them to

take in order to move in to a new grade will not keep their substantive

salaries

4. LU will not agree to maintain the substantive salary of any member who

declines a move to a role or location that is unsuitable to them

We consider this to be a very serious breach of commitments you gave to our respective

trade unions and we now require you to make a clear, unconditional commitment

that no member of staff will suffer a loss of substantive pay because of reorganisation

at the company’s behest.

Unsustainable Job Cuts

It is clear from an initial look at the job figures proposed by LU for each station that many

locations will be left without sufficient staff to safely and effectively run our stations. The

Ladbroke Grove Cover Group will have its staffing halved. All local stations will be lone

worked through both peaks. The claim that busier stations will get more staff has been

exposed as entirely false as almost every station on our network is scheduled to lose

positions. This even includes four out of six of the busiest gateway stations.

We undertook a station by station review of staffing and ticket office arrangements with you

but having run through every station not a single position has been restored to your

proposed model.

We now require you to state how many jobs you propose to cut, if this has

changed from 953.

Ticket Offices

During the review of stations our trade unions have also identified serious problems with

your proposal to close every ticket office. Many locations have POMs that will be at capacity

with the ticket office closed and London Underground is relying on unproven technology to

replace the ticket offices. In spite of our representations you have declined to even discuss

contingency plans should any aspect of your strategy to replace ticket offices not unfold as

you are hoping for. We believe this is irresponsible to our members and to London

Underground’s passengers.

Please state what contingency plans London Underground has put in place

should the closure of ticket offices cause problems that you have not foreseen.

Customer Service Manager Grading

RMT and TSSA object to the regarding of our members working in the grades of station

supervisor 1 & 2 into management grades. Our respective trade unions have asked London

Underground to confirm that the role that London Underground is terming Customer Service

Manager will be an operational grade within the remit of the stations functional council.

We need Meaningful Negotiations

The trade Unions have raised these issues on many occasions at the JWP and at ACAS.

London Underground has responded with vague suggestions of future discussions but is

now implementing the proposals as they stand with the appointment of Area Managers,

preparations for the assessment of Station Supervisors and confirmation of voluntary

redundancies. The only significant commitment given to the trade unions, to maintain

substantive salaries, has been undermined by subsequent statements that salaries will

depend upon members moving and passing assessments.

The threat to future salaries is causing anxiety to many of our members and is undermining

morale on the tube. Members are also worried about whether they are to be put in an

impossible position performing a role to which they are not suited in understaffed stations

with inadequate ticketing facilities.

Our respective trade unions are not prepared to allow London Underground to implement

your flawed proposal to the cost of our members while going through the motions of a sham

consultation with us.

We propose that your answers to the questions we have posed in this letter now form the

basis of a serious process of negotiation. If London Underground is not prepared to engage

with us, in good faith, on these issues then we have no alternative but to place the matter

before our respective trade union executives to consider taking further industrial action.


Yours Sincerely

 

Wayne Geoghegan (TSSA Regional Organiser)

John Leach (RMT Regional Organiser)

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