Political Report - What Tube Bosses Plans Mean for Station Staff

By the RMT's London Transport Region Political Officer.

Management Prepare
Everything management do now is preparation to take us on, all of us, each grade, after the Olympics. Make no mistake, no stone will be left unturned as LUL aim to transform the job root and branch. As a previous leaked document revealed, they're making no bones about using the economic crisis to launch the attack.

The LUL document leaked by RMT early last year explained: “The recession helps – now's the time to make changes”. That's why they need a multi-year pay deal, preferably five years, in order to maintain industrial peace to enact those changes. Don't let them get away with it.

This political report will explain the attacks, grade by grade, over five special issues, each fortnight.

Put these notices up on your union boards. Place them in all staff trays. Keep a copy for reference... you'll be coming back to them again and again. Prepare now to fight!

This issue deals with a familiar story – Ticket Office closures. So you think you know the whole story? Read on....

30. It’s the magic number
Let's start at the end. By 2015 there'll be, at most, just 30 Ticket offices left across the entire combine! Just in case you didn’t quite hear that right, we’ll repeat it: by 2015 there will remain, at most, just 30 ticket offices across the entire combine.

While that sinks in and you figure the number of job cuts that will mean we'll offer some detail.

Oyster technology has been used by LUL to reduce ticket office demand by at least 28% over the past few years. The OSP changes last year that resulted in us taking strike action has led to at least 35% reduction in ticket office duties across the network. In light of our campaign, LUL were forced for political reasons to maintain at least one ticket office at each station that had one operating during at least part of the day.

Wave Goodbye
After the Olympics its time to slash and burn. Oyster has done its job. It's time to roll out “Wave and Pay” that will lead to wholesale passenger self-service with machines offering virtually every ticket and ticket related transactions.

LUL hope at least 30% of passengers will take up ‘Wave and Pay’. They aim to combine that with a deliberate policy to run-down ticket office usage further by encouraging passengers to use POMS and increasing the Top Up 2015 the deed is done and it's goodbye, Au revior, Auf Wiedersehen to our ticket offices.

Heard enough? Well hold on, there's more... What happens to the staff?
LUL are looking at a number of combined options.

  1. Getting staff to sell their own jobs (on the cheap) through voluntary redundancies which, coupled with natural wastage and loss of positions, shrinks the overall workforce considerably and pulls the ladder up from the unemployed (see back page if to understand the consequences).
  2. They aim to have SAMF knowledge used on the gatelines to help passengers self-serve at the POMS. That is, you train passengers to help do away with your job.
  3. Already they are trying to get CSA's to ‘voluntarily’ take up assisting passengers in a wider range of transactions at POMS aiming to further under-cut their colleagues in the ticket office.
  4. They want to develop the CSA job description, combining CSA and ticket office knowledge, on a voluntary basis so that when any challenge comes up to changes to CSA job descriptions they'll state it's been 'working practice' for some time. What they’d have actually done is create a new job: SuperCSA.
  5. They aim to create a greater pool of reserves which will open up various options to them including line cover.

Such fundamental changes to our jobs, roles and responsibilities will have a massive impact on our conditions, our pay and ultimately the numbers employed on the tube.

Ticket office closures cannot be fought on their own in isolation. They form just one part of the jigsaw puzzle that these Special Issue leaflets will piece together.

As an overall strategy we can stop management in their tracks. In the meantime, do not take up any duties and tasks outside your job description voluntarily. You'll only be slitting your own throat in the long run.

Feeling safe as a station supervisor? Don’t! Look out for the next issue when we will explain what changes are prepared for you.

Revenue Control Inspectors

RCIs are set to lose almost one hundred from their ranks, a 40% cut, in one hit. Just as LU intends to close Ticket Offices by "driving down" demand they've also hatched a cunning plan to do in the RCIs.

The recent decision to remove assistance windows, starting at London Bridge and OXO, and replacing them with POMs is no coincidence. Not only does it save on yet more TO jobs but it conveniently drives down fraud levels by allowing passengers to pay after travelling.

So what's in store for the lucky few who still have a job in Revenue? Well LU plans to rip up the framework and deploy on the same lines as the SRT. With less fraud & stations struggling to stay open, no prize for guessing what you'll be expected to do..

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