Fleet 'Use of Agency Staff' Industrial Action Suspended as Agreement Reached

Branches will be aware that we have been in dispute with London Underground over the plan to use of Agency staff to undertake training. This action by management was in breach of the Fleet Core Work Agreement and the training organisation agreement reached in discussions at ACAS. On top of this there had been a total lack of consultation over this important issue.

Members on Fleet were balloted for strike action and action short of a strike which resulted in an overwhelming Yes Vote on both questions. The GGC called industrial action by instructing our trainer members not to train any contractor or non LUL employee, and no fleet member to attend any course run by a contract trainer. We also initiated a continuous overtime ban.

This action has been in place since 8th August since when our negotiating team have been in intensive talks with the company to resolve the matter. I am pleased to advise branches that we have now reached agreement with the company on the issues in dispute and consequently all industrial action in this dispute has been suspended.

Please Note: Fleet members remain instructed to take industrial action as per previous instructions under the Pay and Night tube dispute.

The agreement reached is quoted below : -

  1. The existing agency trainers will be offered fixed term contracts on standard LU terms, including entitlement to the benefits afforded to permanent staff. These contracts will be for a minimum one year term. Any fixed term staff will be entitled to apply for permanent roles within the organisation, where they have the requisite skills and experience.
  2. Going forward, in line with existing arrangements, vacancies will continue to be offered to internal candidates with the appropriate skills, either on a permanent or secondment basis.
  3. However, there may be circumstances, for example due to time constraints or lack of internal skills where it may be necessary to engage external short term resources, for example where the skills do not exist within the organisation.
  4. In such circumstances the business will discuss with the recognised trade unions before making any such appointments. In addition, the business will update the Fleet Functional Council as and when there are significant changes in the forecast demand in that area. This will enable us to identify potential longer term roles for any fixed term contract employees on an ongoing basis.
  5. With regard to representation within the training area, as you know, under our existing agreed machinery, trainers are represented at the MATS Council as well as in the asset-based councils. Within those councils, both locally and at functional level, it is for the trade unions to decide upon their representatives, whilst remaining within the agreed numbers. Notwithstanding the above, we have in the past allowed other trade union members to attend and take part in consultation meetings where this is in the interest of good industrial relations. The Training re-organisation is a practical example of where this approach has worked well. Pending any future amendment to our agreed machinery we do not propose to alter this position.
  6. On the basis of the above, your trade union acknowledges the agreement for flexibility reached as part of the ACAS settlement relating to the Training reorganisation.

This agreement is a major achievement as, thanks to the solidarity of members, we have completely reversed the outsourcing of trainers. I would like to thank our fleet members for their unity and determination which has made this deal possible.