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A Message to LU Station Staff - Draft BNS/Rosters: Defend our Staffing Levels!

This week, management are publishing the draft Business Needs Schematics (BNS) and rosters for Fit for the Future - Stations. These are being presented to your union reps at a local ('level one') meeting, and reps will then consult you and take your views back to a feedback meeting. The BNS shows where management think staff are needed on the station. The roster shows the days, hours and rest days that staff are expected to follow. From the information that has emerged so far, we can expect the BNS to show an impractical and dangerously low level of staffing and the rosters to involve very anti-social working patterns including too many extreme turns and hardly any weekends off. RMT is fighting against this attack on your jobs and working conditions, and with your and your workmates' involvement, we can win. The BNS and rosters have been put together in offices and using formulae. But it is the staff at your station who know best what staffing it needs. And it is you and your workmates who will have to work these rosters, not the people who put them together! The consultation is not just about rejigging start and finish times or rest day patterns. It also has the power to increase staffing numbers. You and your union won this commitment from management when we called strike action last October - now we need to make it count by driving home the case against staff cuts. And if management try to press ahead with cutting staff and imposing awful rosters, they can expect us to call strike action again. What you can do: Look at management's proposed BNS/roster for your station, and discuss them with your workmates and your RMT rep. Identify where the staffing levels are too low and where the roster is unacceptable. BNS - things to look out for:

  • Your station probably needs a ticket office!
  • Without a ticket office, it will need several extra staff in the ticket hall; think how busy your POMs and gatelines are at various times of the day, and whether management's proposed number of staff could cope.
  • Management's BNSs are based on an assumption that everything runs smoothly - but we know that it often doesn't. So the BNS will show bare minimum staffing that does not take account of incidents. We need extra staff to deal with VIPs/MIPs, school parties, passengers taken ill, waiting at the RVP for emergency services, etc, etc, etc.
  • Your station probably needs more staff on gatelines and platforms than the BNS shows at various times of the day.
  • Your station may also need staff in other parts of the station too, such as circulating areas and congestion pinch-points.
  • Management's formulae are based on measurable factors, such as numbers tapping in and out. What about others, such as people interchanging?
  • Security checks should be identified distinctly on the BNS, rather than it assuming that the person in the ticket hall, platform etc is carrying them out. You can not be in two places, or doing two things, at once!
  • Think about local issues and venues. Is there a hospital, sports stadium, museum, school etc nearby? Are you in a multi-ethnic area or a station used by lots of tourists? Do your passengers need lots of help from staff?

Rosters - things to look out for:

  • Note that the rosters include 'spare weeks', as there will no longer be any reserve staff. So, if your station has, say 12 CSAs now and 12 CSAs on the draft roster, this is actually a cut in staffing of more than a quarter.
  • Look at the rest day patterns, weekends and long weekends.
  • Are you or your workmates part-time? If there are fewer part-time posts on the roster, or if the hours have changed, what will happen to them?
  • Can your roster accommodate staff who have medical restriction or disabilities?
  • Look at the extreme turns. How will you get to and from work? (Remember you may be at a station much further from home.) What havoc will it play with your sleep and your health?
  • If the roster is bad, the basic reason is that the staffing level is bring reduced. The chances of making the roster better by tweaking it are limited. For decent rosters, we need the job cuts reversed.

We do not accept any staffing cuts. We all know that London Underground stations need more staff, not fewer. If we pull together, and fight for better staffing levels and rosters, we can defend our working conditions. If we don't, the consequences could be disastrous. Please do you bit to mobilise to defend our station staffing. Come to your branch meeting to discuss this further, feed back your views, and plan the next steps in our campaign. Thursday 12 March Informal hour from 16:00 - branch meeting from 17:00 ex-Services Club Harvey Road Leytonstone Yours in solidarity Janine Booth Branch Secretary Central Line East RMT @JanineBooth www.rmtlondoncalling.org.uk www.janinebooth.com