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Welcome & Editorial - January 2014

6 January 2014

Welcome to the January 2014 edition of the TSSA Journal. We've an edition packed with the latest news, campaigns, comment and advice.

Happy New Year and welcome to the January 2014 edition of the TSSA Journal. This month we focus on the appalling proposals by the Mayor of London to remove almost 1,000 front line and safety critical posts from the Underground (pages 4, 8, 9, 14 and 15). Whilst heavily spun as being about the ‘visibility’ of staff and presented as ‘part of a package’ to bring in night time running, the proposals will undoubtedly mean a worse service for passengers. TfL’s figures of 3 per cent of journeys starting at the ticket office equates to a staggering 35 million customers served last year.

Some have suggested the announcement by London Underground management is intentionally extreme so staff will be ‘happy’ if the cut backs are made slightly less severe. Claiming just 150 extra staff are required to safely run a night tube of almost 150 stations, with a 15 minute service frequency and intoxicated passengers seems optimistic to say the least. Playing games like this might seem like a fun pursuit to some at City Hall, but their livelihoods are not the ones cast into doubt by their manoeuvres. All members in London – not just Underground staff – should see if they can join our week of action (page 9) to oppose these devastating cuts.

In better news, our long running campaign against rail becoming ever more expensive has seen a significant win this year (page 5). In a U-turn on his earlier plans for an above inflation increase, George Osborne has now conceded that regulated fares should only go up to match RPI inflation. High fares still make rail travel hard to afford for millions, but these wins do show that our constant hammering away on this issue can deliver wins, even from the present government.

Ben Soffa, editor

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