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TSSA warns BTP staff will be forced to sleep at stations unless new shift rotas withdrawn

14 March 2017

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes. is warning British Transport Police not to implement new shift rosters which will force staff to sleep at stations because they can't get home. BTP have drawn up rosters to begin next month, with a new shift pattern for Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) which finish at 1am when there is no public transport to return commuting PCSOs home.


General Secretary Manuel Cortes wants BTP to withdraw the new rosters which jeopardise the safety of PCSOs. He will also ask London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, to intervene and "bang heads together if necessary,” because of the especially adverse effect the changes will have will have on PCSOs employed in London stations. 

The new clock-off time is being imposed as part of BTP cost-cutting exercise to reduce night shift allowance payments by 5%. The measure will hit PCSOs in their pocket by around a £1,000 per year but, because no public transport runs in London at that time London, staff simply won't be able to go home when they finish work, making the new shift unviable.   

BTP employ 330 PCSO, almost half in London stations but, because they can't afford London housing, London PCSOs themselves depend on trains in and out of home counties to the commute to work. 

BTP PCSO nightshifts began in 2015, with nightshift allowance agreed in 2014 in preparation for Night Tube and current agreed night shift schedules work in line with tubes and train timetables.

PCSO members voiced their concerns that the new rosters are not practical during BTP's own staff consultation process. A TSSA proposals to finish the shift at midnight to enable members to make the last train was rejected and BTP have now issued new rosters for April forcing staff onto a the 1a.m. finish in 1 out of every 3 shifts. 

Said TSSA leader, Manuel Cortes, "BTP have made a sham of their own consultation process by ignoring the valid concerns of their staff who simply can't get home at 1am. Are they supposed to sleep at the station?  No employer should turf their staff out at 1am onto the streets of London with no way to get home. But that's what BTP, the very people charged with ensuring the public travel safely, are now doing to their own staff.  Frankly, it beggars belief and it's causing a lot of unnecessary upset."

"Our reps have tried to get BTP to see sense on this one and asked for shifts either to be put back to midnight or left to 7am.  But management remain stubbornly intransigent and our members are furious so we are now consulting them on how we resist this change. Make no mistake, we are considering all options to stop BTP imposing this roster on our members, including ballots for industrial action should it prove necessary. 

"Our PCSO members are professional police support staff dedicated to keeping commuters safe. So a failure by their bosses to protect them is insulting as is their unwillingness to negotiate with our reps over this easily resolvable issue. 

"I'll also be asking London's Mayor Sadiq Khan to review the situation and bang heads together if necessary. He is BTP's paymaster when it comes to security on our Tube and I'm sure he too will be as shocked as we are at the way these safety-critical group of staff are being treated."

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