NEWS.CATEGORY: Newsletters

Update from your TSSA Reps

Changes to TfL's Executive Committee

Prior to the announcement on Thursday, Andy Byford briefed trade union full-time officers about changes to the TfL Executive Committee which will take place on 1 February. According to the Commissioner, senior leadership roles have been realigned to create greater capability and accountability, to speed up decision-making and get rid of bureaucracy and duplication.

Andy Byford inherited a structure with 14 roles at EXCO level, including the Commissioner. He reduced numbers to 12 initially and in the new structure it has been cut further - down to 7 Chief Officer roles, all of which report to him directly.
Significantly, there is a realignment of functions in the new structure, creating pan-TfL responsibilities and accountabilities. For example, both LU and TfL Surface Operations will report into Andy Lord, Chief Operating Officer. Similarly, Gareth Powell will become Chief Customer and Strategy Officer, and is appointed as the first ever Deputy Commissioner.
Tricia Wright remains as Chief People Officer, Lilli Matson as Chief SHE Officer and Rachel McClean will replace Simon Chief Finance Officer when he leaves TfL in April. Three of the 8 EXCO members will be women, but there are no people of colour, which reflects the chronic under-representation of minority ethnic staff in senior management roles. It needs to be made clear how Marcia Williams, Director of Diversity, Inclusion & Talent, will be empowered to drive change and increase diversity across TfL and make it more representative - at all levels - of London's population.
Andy Byford confirmed that some EXCO members will receive increased salaries, but stated that the overall cost of the new structure is less than the current arrangements. Fiona Brunskill, Director of People and Change Management also confirmed that TfL will be undertaking a further review and possible reorganisation of other senior leadership structures over the next 6-9 months.

TSSA has recently raised a number of concerns about the lack of accountability of EXCO and senior management. We welcome greater scrutiny and rationalisation at these levels and will continue to push for a more diverse, open and accountable leadership.

Fair pay for ALL TfL Staff

Why we're taking action short of a strike and how you can get involved

For many years the senior leadership of TfL has played a classic game of ‘divide and rule’ – pitting TfL employees against their colleagues in London Underground and vice versa.

Last week, when asked by staff about the reasons for the differing and divisive pay awards in TfL and LU, one senior leader at TfL said: 

“Operational colleagues do a really different job, on shift working patterns, often working evenings and weekends, often in difficult and borderline dangerous situations… our colleagues on the front line are what we should all be orientated behind to support in facing into the public and facing into the maintaining of our network, often in really appalling, hot, horrible, dirty conditions…”

This completely fails to recognise the many operational staff employed by TfL, such as those in the Compliance, Policing, Operations and Security team, who work on the frontline but receive lower rates of pay, and lesser pay rises, than colleagues in similar roles on the Underground. Or to the many colleagues such as cleaners, who are employed by contractors and work in those exact same conditions, but are paid the London Living Wage.

It also fails to recognise the hard work and commitment of professional services and support staff who go above and beyond to ensure London's transport services - above and below ground - are safe, financially viable and continuing to operate.

Having seen thousands of colleagues in back office roles leave the organisation over the last five years as part of ‘Transformation’ cost-cutting measures, to add insult to injury, TfL’s senior leadership continues to expect staff to absorb the extra work that’s left behind whilst seeing their pay fall behind inflation year on year on year.

The truth is that the main difference between these groups of staff is industrial bargaining strength, and it’s time to send a clear message to TfL’s leadership that ALL TfL staff should be treated fairly and equally.

We recognise and value the work of operational colleagues across TfL and LU, many of whom work shifts, including weekends and nights. However, many TfL support and professional services staff also work evenings and weekends to get the job done – they just don’t get paid or recognised for it.

That’s why we’re reminding you of our ongoing action short of strike and calling on members not to work overtime and not to volunteer to be a TfL Ambassador.

We refuse to accept the leadership’s ‘divide and rule’ tactics. We respect ourselves and the work carried out by our operational colleagues. So when TfL sends you an email asking you to train up and volunteer as an Ambassador, remember that you may well be used to cover for operational colleagues should they take industrial action.

Now is the time to stand together, to stand up for ourselves. 

There’s more information about the background to this dispute and our ongoing action short of strike on the TSSA website.

All TSSA members in TfL pay bands 1-3 should continue to take action short of a strike as follows: 

  • Members are instructed not to work beyond their contractual hours. This includes all non-contractual overtime, refusing out of hours phone calls, taking full meal breaks and VDU breaks.
  • Members are instructed not to participate in their personal Performance and Development Review process
  • 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

However, if you have line management responsibilities then you should conduct Performance and Development reviews for those staff not participating in the action short of strike.

Return to Offices
Following the Government's decision to remove all Covid mitigations from 19 January, TfL have restarted the return to offices for all staff. This starts gradually but everyone is expected to attend on 2 occasions a week by 28 February. TSSA had called on TfL to give members sufficient notice to be able to plan for this change and so welcome the delay in the re-introduction of a full hybrid return. We are now discussing the directorate level plans with management. We are concerned that some managers may dictate the terms of a return to the office without taking into account the new 'purpose of the office' which is to be where we meet to collaborate - not where we are instructed to attend to make use of allocated space. Return to the Office will be a key topic at the next member call on Tuesday 25 January - please join us if you can.
Fit notes
The Government recognised the additional pressure on GPs from the new Covid variant and so temporarily introduced a new rule that fit notes should be submitted after day 7 of a period of sickness. TfL decided to not reflect this in TfL sickness policy, which is disappointing because this conflicts with the purpose of the measure, to reduce pressure on the NHS. However, they have agreed that staff should be reimbursed for any private fit notes that they need to pay for. However, we know that many GPs are also refusing to provide private fit notes and it may be difficult to find a doctor to provide one. If you are having difficulty, let your manager know and they will seek advice from OHU who can signpost where you are able to get a note. Please contact your local rep if you are worried about this or are experiencing issues.
Special Branch Meeting - Merger questions
Thank you to all members who joined the call on Wednesday 19 January. We have forwarded the questions raised and called for additional engagement with members ahead of the Special Delegate Conference on 12 February. Find out more on the TSSA forum or TSSA website.
Policy Review
We wrote about the TfL reviews of various HR policies last week and can report now that TfL have updated their timetable for the reviews.  The updated timetable is filed on our teams site (request to join, if you haven't already done so). 

We are providing updates to members at our Tuesday calls but please contact Caroline Cheales if you would like to be more involved.

Forward this message to your colleagues

TSSA is not allowed to email people who aren't our members and who haven't specifically given us their email address - but you can forward our emails!

So if you’ve got a friend or colleague who you think might be interested in this update, please forward or pass them a copy. Also, if another member is not receiving their copy it could be that they have unsubscribed from TSSA marketing messages. It's easy to fix but visiting MyTSSA but unfortunately we cannot make the change for members, it has to be done by the member.

With the scale of the challenges facing TfL staff right now, there's never been a more important time to be a member of a union. Remember, the more members we have, the more effectively we will be able to represent you in discussions with the leadership team at TfL. Ultimately, that's the reason why TfL staff have been treated so differently to their LU colleagues. So please encourage your colleagues to join today!

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