Bob Crow Writes To London Underground Urging Talks At ACAS Regarding Service Control Dispute

"As a result of these outstanding issues and because we wish to negotiate an agreement on this dispute, I believe the best way forward is to hold talks at ACAS as a matter of urgency." - Bob Crow

Letter from RMT General Secretary Bob Crow to London Underground


Further to your letter dated 31st May 2012, please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you. We have been preparing a detailed response which is outlined below.

As advised yesterday my Service Control members voted overwhelmingly for strike action and action short of industrial action. Despite the contents of much of your letter, I must advise you that we still have a substantial number of concerns and we believe service control staff and our representatives continue to be mistreated by LUL. I shall answer each of the points on which we remain in dispute below: -

  1. There are still no job guarantees as a result of organisational change arising from the move to Hammersmith Service Control Centre. My representatives cannot not recall any guarantees ever being minuted and we have been informed that Mike Brown avoided the question at the recent ‘Time to Talk’ sessions when pointedly asked. As regards the JWP, which LUL recently tried to disband, one of our representatives was refused release to attend the last meeting. Furthermore, the resourcing strategy
    document as drafted by the yourselves lacks any real substance other than broad principles and could be open to interpretation without more detail.
  1. We still have concerns over the treatment of ex-apprentice secondee service operators. One individual has still been excluded from the process, but you have now advertised permanent positions.
  1. As regards the Hammersmith SCC grading, I believe you may have confused this issue with the Hammersmith Signal Cabin. Since the Circle Line now terminates at Hammersmith, the work load has doubled but you refuse to recognise that fact and upgrade the cabin to a higher rate of pay. Additionally you will still not commit to a specific title for the roles even though, for all intents and purposes, most people will be doing the same job. We believe this risks a 'selective' recruitment process with new salaries, bands and job descriptions - effectively making their past roles 'redundant.
  1. My representatives still continue to report difficulties with their release to attend meetings which are often called at short notice to suit management’s diaries and also feedback days are not given. Meetings to announce developments are called at short notice with little or no chance given to our reps to meet and discuss the proposals.

    We believe that this union is being marginalised in these forums and LUL are continuing to make decisions without our input. This means my reps are unable to carry their duties to meet their members to provide feedback and this has resulted in a total breakdown of the machinery and a continuing mistreatment of service control staff. Given the magnitude of the pending changes, meaningful participation means
    that my representatives must be afforded sufficient time off to participate, consider and seek our members views. Therefore I must insist that my representatives receive proper release.

As a result of these outstanding issues and because we wish to negotiate an agreement on this dispute, I believe the best way forward is to hold talks at ACAS as a matter of urgency.

On this basis I have contacted John Woods at ACAS to request their immediate involvement in organising dates for these talks to take place.