Regional Council Meeting Report November 2012

This is a synopsis of the report given by the London Transport Region Executive Member Janine Booth to the London Transport Regional Council Meeting on 29th November 2012.

To get more details please try and attend your branch meeting or regional council - your rep should have more information too. Alternatively this site has lots of information and material for workplaces in the London Region.

LTRC RESOLUTIONS

PMAs
GGC decision: We note the resolution from our London Transport Regional Council, and share its concern at London Underground’s continuing use of ‘People Management Advice specialists’ (PMAs) in the disciplinary process, to the detriment of our members’ right to a just process.

As requested, we instruct the General Secretary to write to London Underground Ltd demanding a full and open investigation into the conduct of PMAs, to establish:

  • proof of the PMAs’ role
  • verification of PMAs’ credentials
  • periodic assurance and assessment of PMAs’ code of conduct and that pending the investigation, PMAs do not:
    • attend case conferences
    • engage or participate in any grievance procedures
    • mediate or form an opinion on employees.

Noting LUL’s unsatisfactory and disingenuous response to our previous correspondence on this matter, we
further instruct the General Secretary to:

  • obtain an up-to-date report on the events referred to in the resolution
  • progress this issue through the machinery of negotiation up to and including declaring a dispute on
    this issue if necessary
  • obtain a report on whether London Underground’s practice meets ACAS standards
  • contact the other trade unions on London Underground requesting their support and co-operation on this matter.

We further instruct the General Secretary to obtain an up-to-date report on the progress of London Underground’s review of its disciplinary and grievance procedure.

Jason Moriarty
GGC decision: We note the resolution from our London Transport Regional Council.
We deplore the way that London Underground Ltd has treated our representative, Brother Moriarty, and instruct the General Secretary to provide him with full support in pursuing this matter.
We also note that the issue of RMT representation at North Greenwich and Stratford train crew depots has now been resolved to our satisfaction, and congratulate our members, branch and representatives for their steadfastness on this matter.

Alstom's involvement in Jerusalem Light Railway
Council of Executives decision: We instruct the General Secretary to invite GMB, TSSA and Unite to a meeting to discuss how this campaign can be taken forward.

NHS
Council of Executives decision: We note the resolution [from London Transport Regional Council] and that we are already affiliated to the Health Emergency campaign and that our policies are clearly in support of defending the NHS. We continue to work with broad based movements to defend the NHS and reiterate our support for the founding principles of the NHS and reiterate our policy of opposing the privatisation of the NHS. The General Secretary to obtain appropriate literature to enable Branches and Regional Councils to support campaigning to defend the NHS.

Workers' & passengers' charter/plan for London
Political Sub-Committee has discussed, and is recommending to the Executive that RMT convenes a meeting with other transport TUs, trades councils and relevant TU bodies to discuss a campaign that can then involve passenger and community groups, the wider public, etc.

Cleaners

LT Region strikes

  • Carlisle DLR (+ security staff)- 05:30 Thursday until 05:30 Saturday
  • ISS / Initial - 05:30 Friday until 05:30 Sunday
  • Vinci reps to attend meeting to discuss going into dispute
  • further action planned over the festive period
  • rally STRAIGHT AFTER REGIONAL COUNCIL (7pm), Conway Hall, Red Lion Square
  • list of pickets has been emailed to reps and activists
  • demonstration at TfL, Windsor House, 12pm tomorrow (Friday)
  • strikers getting £50 per day from the Disputes Fund; appeal for donations

Organising

  • need to organise, recruit and keep membership data up-to-date
  • other groups of cleaners in London fighting for better pay and conditions, including: University of London '3 Cosas'; John Lewis; Tower of London; Barbican; Societe Generale; British Museum; British Medical Association
  • leaflets for the public - please distribute

National Campaign

  • RMT cleaners' charter - has been revised/updated; the new version is being printed
  • spread in RMT News about cleaners
  • Lobby of Parliament, Tuesday 11 December 15:00
  • RMT Cleaners' Forum to be launched
  • ISS Bletchley and Northampton has upped its pay offer to 2.5% -> referendum
  • Churchills Arriva Trains Wales to go into dispute?

Our cleaners' campaign needs more support from other grades

Unite Arriva bus strike
Verbal report to be given.

London Underground

LU JOB CUTS
GGC decision (extract): We note the resolution from our East Ham branch concerning job cuts, and that similar resolutions have been passed by several other branches.
We share the views of our branches, and affirm that this union opposes all job cuts on London Underground and across TfL. We instruct the General Secretary to ensure that this position is made clear in relevant union publications and public statements and in any meetings and correspondence with the employers.

A 4-page broadsheet for LU staff has been written, and should be designed and printed within the next couple of weeks.

  • Testing of driverless trains - test train drivers industrial action instruction not to take part.
  • Meeting with LUL Directors: GGC decision (extract): We note that in the meeting, LUL stated that:
  • there will be no driverless trains in the near future
  • the Bakerloo line upgrade due in 2020 as yet has no agreed funding
  • it anticipates employing more station staff as the service frequency increases
  • it also anticipates changing the roles of station staff

This reaffirms both the folly of LUL’s cuts to station staffing in 2011, and the need for this union to fight vigorously to defend and improve London Underground jobs and conditions. It also leaves many concerns outstanding, including in the areas of service control, revenue control and ticket-selling, MATS, engineering and fleet. It leaves open the possibility of the introduction of driverless trains beyond the ‘near future’, and of serious attacks on station staff’s working conditions.

LU CASUALISATION

  • LUL will be mobilising ICSAs again over the Christmas period - our industrial action short of strikes still stands, and is being re-circulated
  • Agency staff - a 'know your rights' guide and a pamphlet about agency workers is in production.
  • RMT is preparing a legal case on behalf of our Trainpeople members working on LU.
  • A large proportion of Trainpeople staff working on LU are RMT members, and we will seek recognition
  • LUL has indicated that it wants to introduce mobile stations supervision.

These issues mean that LUL continues to breach our 2008 casualisation dispute settlement. RMT is calling for new talks on this, and we should consider escalating this dispute.

LU TRAINS

  • Boxing Day - LU made an offer to ASLEF which involved buying drivers' leave - on request of train grades, we are balloting - this is NOT the same dispute as ASLEF's, and we are NOT making the same demands
  • Detrainment - ballots of Bakerloo and Central line drivers for 'action short' about to start
  • Management want C&H drivers to drive S stock trains on Met line track at Wembley - this breaches the principle of 'no cross-line working' which is a clear line of principle for RMT.

LUL COMPANY COUNCIL
Meeting today - verbal report to be given.

LU SERVICE CONTROL
LUL appeared to be reneging on our dispute settlement, but we are now assured that it is complying.
LUL plans to go ahead with cutting up to 300 jobs. GGC decision (extract): We share the views of our branches and confirm that this union opposes the planned job cuts, and believes that new technology must be used to complement staff rather than to replace them.
Meeting 7 January, 10am, Unity House - all service control reps, branch secretaries (or nominee), service control members welcome to attend.

LU MACHINERY REVIEW
Dates are being considered for initial meeting.
GGC decision: We do not accept that RMT, as by far the largest union on LUL, and with recognition and membership in all functions, should be restricted to just three representatives (including the full-time officer) at the meeting to discuss the review.
We instruct the General Secretary to raise this matter with London Underground Ltd as a matter of urgency, and insist on adequate representation for this union.

TUBE LINES
Members' meeting took place 21/11/12
Strike called 23/11/12, engineering works cancelled, strike called off
Mass meeting Thursday 13, 7pm, Unity House
Further action - details to follow
Improving communications - newsletter, e-list etc
Tampers - industrial action instruction to work to existing rosters until further notice
Christmas and New Year pay/leave arrangements accepted on recommendation of the branches

Transport for London

TfL PAY
GGC decision: We affirm the branch’s view that RMT should not accept TfL's pay offer. We do not support Performance-Related Pay, and we will not endorse part of our members' pay rise in the second year of this deal being conditional on us accepting a PRP policy that we have not even seen yet.
RMT is disappointed that other unions have accepted the offer and not taken up our request to pursue our concerns.

We declare that we expect the full pay rise of RPI+0.5% to be paid to TfL staff on 1 April 2013 without any conditions, and that any attempt to make this conditional on our agreement to an unacceptable PRP policy will see this union go into dispute.
We affirm that the members transferred to TfL from LUL in 2011 should not have their rights under TUPE nullified via inclusion in a pay deal agreed by other unions, and instruct the General Secretary to obtain legal advice on this.

We note the branch’s intentions to publicise and campaign for this stance, and offer all necessary support.
We instruct the General Secretary to send a personal letter to all TfL members outlining this union’s stance, and to enclose a membership form.

TRANSFER OF STAFF: LUL to TfL
GGC decision (extract): We note the circular issued by TfL management to staff, advising that it has reached agreement with the TSSA regarding the transfer of non-operational employees from LUL in 2011. We have two significant concerns about this.

Firstly, we are concerned that TfL appears to have concluded an agreement with just one trade union. We instruct the General Secretary to obtain a report on how and why this happened.
Secondly, we are concerned that the one-off payment agreed may not adequately compensate for rights and benefits lost as a result of the transfer, and in any case, we do not support the selling of rights or benefits for a one-off payment. We instruct the General Secretary to obtain a report on the detail of this agreement and the issues which it claims to resolve.

MARKET TESTING
GGC decision (extract): we instruct the General Secretary to:

  • table this issue for discussion at the next meeting of TfL Company Council
  • assist the branch with the production and distribution of a newsletter on this and other TfL issues
  • provide a concise guide to 'what is market testing' and the dangerous implications of it
  • lobby potentially-supportive TfL Board members about this matter.

LT MUSEUM CUTS
GGC decision: We note the report that London Transport intends to make significant cuts to staffing at the LT Museum. The Museum has suffered funding cuts from this vicious Coalition government, but our members, the Museum's visitors and the cultural value of the Museum's work should not be made to suffer.
We resolve to play a full part in the campaign against these cuts, and support its demand that TfL 'open the books' so that we can identify opportunities for avoiding cuts.
We instruct the General Secretary to:

  • support and mobilise for the lobby of the TfL Board planned for 12 December.
  • seek to get a Mayor's question asked, a resolution put to the GLA, and an Early Day Motion tabled in Parliament against these cuts
  • support any existing petition against the cuts, or in the absence of such a petition, establish our own
    offer full support to our local representative on this issue
  • obtain a report on the progress of negotiations
  • seek to work with the TSSA on this issue

Taxis

SUBURBAN REVIEW
RMT reps are to raise proposals at the TfL Review of Suburban Licensing on Monday 10 December, and report the response to the London Taxi Drivers’ branch AGM and the GGC.

ORGANISING
Head office is resourcing the branch in producing a regular newsletter.
The Organising Unit is producing specific recruitment materials aimed at taxi drivers.

SCRAPPAGE SCHEME:
GGC decision: We resolve to step up this campaign, and therefore instruct the General Secretary to:

  • produce a window sticker for display in taxis promoting this campaign
  • liaise with our London Taxi Drivers’ branch to hold a protest
  • ask members to lobby their MPs to support our Parliamentary group’s Early Day Motion on this issue
  • pursue appropriate organisations that campaign on environmental and/or public transport issues, asking for their support for this demand

Sodexo
RMT continues to seek recognition and to increase membership. Verbal update to be given to LTRC.

CICA
- cuts have now been implemented

Attack on heakth & safety law
The government is seeking to amend section 47 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, adding this at the last minute to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.
Responsible department: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
The amendment would mean:

  • Employers would no longer have a strict liability for the health and safety of their workers, for the first time since 1898.
  • Workers could not rely on an employer's breach of health and safety law to win a personal injury claim, they would have to provide proof of negligence.
  • Enforcement of health and safety law would be increasingly left up to a significantly weakened and less effective Health and Safety Executive.
  • Employers will increasingly hide behind the defence that complying to health and safety regulations was not "reasonably practicable".

I have asked the General Secretary to circulate the online petition against this and to put it on the agenda of the Council of Executives next week.

Discussion with TSSA
RMT Council of Executives decision, 22 November: That we have received the letter from TSSA who have stated that they do not see the federation as a stepping stone towards a merger between our unions.
The General Secretary is to write to TSSA and reaffirm our position that we want one industrial union in the Transport Industry and our door is open for talks with the TSSA to achieve part of this aim.
The letter and the letter from TSSA to be sent to all Branches and Regional Councils.
TSSA is now in merger talks with Community.

Equalities

LGBT
Conference extended to two days from next year
RMT opposes government attack on Housing Benefit for under-25s; LGBT Advisory Committee raised this issue and highlighted effect on young LGBT people.
The RMT membership form now includes a sexuality disclosure option.
Activists in our Region have organised some excellent campaigning on international LGBT rights – there are serious attacks going on in several countries.
Good coverage of LGBT issues in the current RMT News.

Strategy against homophobia:
C of E decision: We note the full Council of Executives has asked us to prepare a 'strategy to eradicate homophobia'. We instruct the General Secretary to prepare this work based on a non exhaustive list of ideas, e.g.

  • challenging homophobia within the RMT
  • responding to homophobic instances in the workplace
  • provide support to members who are coming out as LGBT
  • ensuring employers have policies that practise full equality
  • supporting anti homophobic campaigns

RMT to provide new materials for our LGBT members that challenges homophobia in the workplace
Finally that we continue to campaign throughout society to eradicate homophobia.

‘Gay Cure’ Organisations:
Council of Executives decision:
We note the item from the LGBT Advisory Committee and we instruct the General Secretary to:

  1. Support campaigns against anti-gay organisations that fraudulently and harmfully claim they are able to ‘cure’ homosexuality.
  2. Support and mobilise for appropriate protest actions on this issue to bring the fake business of ‘reparative therapy’ to an end.
  3. Request the RMT's Parliamentary group of MPs, led by John McDonnell, to raise this issue again in parliament - including the issue of CARE funded interns for MPs and ministers in the coalition government.
  4. Lobby government to make it an offense to advertise, promote or offer bogus gay ‘cures’.
  5. Support international campaigns against the ‘ex-gay’ movement and raise the issue with international trade union contacts.
  6. Campaign under the slogan, “Cure homophobia not homosexuality”.

Women
We are considering the delegation to TUC Women’s Conference.
Domestic Violence policy will be launched early next year.

Disabilities
Boarding ramps: GGC decision: We note the resolution from our London Transport Regional Council. We affirm that RMT supports the continuing use of boarding ramps to enable access for mobility-impaired passengers to London Underground trains. This must be properly risk-assessed and have a safe and effective system of work, and requires adequate numbers of staff on every station to use the ramps.
We instruct the General Secretary to advise London Underground Ltd of our stance, and to obtain a report on the company’s intentions for the future use of these ramps.

We further instruct the General Secretary to write to SERTUC, the TUC Disabled Workers’ Committee and disabled people’s organisations (including Transport for All) informing them of our stance, and to raise this issue within the disability access campaigning we are doing as part of the Action for Rail campaign.

Training next year
There is an expanded programme of equalities training in Doncaster next year, which can also be run in Regions

Advisory committee nominations*
Members have been nominated and elected unopposed to represent LT region on the National Advisory Committees. Check with your branch or rep if you wish to find out who these people are.

There is one vacancy for our Region on each of the Women's and LGBT Advisory Committees, so if your branch has not nominated yet, please consider doing so.


Additionally, Janine reported verbally on the EDL resolution, and on cuts in maintenance frequencies.

Janine Booth, 29/11/12

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