RMT Platform June 2012

You can view or download the original newsletter at the bottom of this story
RMT Stands Up For Agency Staff on LU Stations
London Underground is using agency staff to work on stations transferred from Silverlink: on the north of the Bakerloo Line and Kew Gardens to Gunnersbury on the District Line.
RMT has heard about the appalling treatment agency workers are facing from their employer, Trainpeople. The agency has paid its staff late two months in a row. RMT is writing to Trainpeople to urge them to cease this appalling practice.

RMT has also heard that Trainpeople are using a ‘Swedish derogation contract model’ to get round the law regarding agency workers’ rights. According to the Agency Worker Regulations, agency staff should be paid the same as permanent staff. But Trainpeople are paying agency staff as little as £8.50 an hour to do London Underground CSA jobs.

RMT is currently investigating whether Trainpeople are even applying the Swedish derogation model properly. To do this, Trainpeople would need to:

  • Employ our members under a permanent contract
  • Pay our members at least 50% of normal pay during any periods when they are not assigned
    work with LU (so called “downtime”)
  • Continue to employ our members under these terms for a minimum of 4 weeks (on
    aggregate) during downtime without termination.

The RMT has pledged to provide full support to any members who are challenging the unacceptable practices of this agency. Increasing numbers of Trainpeople staff are joining the RMT, strengthening our voice so we can fight on these issues. If you are not yet a member, join today!

Ultimately, RMT believes agency workers on LU stations should be employed on permanent contracts by LU. Station staff know that across the network, LU would prefer cheaper, more flexible, casual agency workers to permanent staff with hard-won conditions. For all station staff, supporting agency workers’ fight for equal rights and LU contracts is part of the fight to defend our own jobs and working conditions.

Your Station and Revenue Grades Committee
A monthly meeting for all station and revenue staff . The last Thursday of each month at 1430, at the Exmouth Arms near Euston. Come along to hear reports, get advice and share information with all stations reps. We produce this newsletter, organise recruitment to our union. Help thestations get organised!

For more information please contact:

  • Becky Crocker, Industrial Rep, Euston Group, Chair of the Station Grades Committee,
  • Eammon Lynch, Industrial Rep, London Bridge Group, Secretary of the Station Grades Committee

ICSAs: Vote ‘Yes’ for Safety and Job Security!
London Underground intends to count ‘Incident Customer Service Assistants’ towards stations minimum numbers during the Olympics, although ICSAs are not station staff and have
minimal training.

LU will be pulling out the stops to avoid Olympic station closures. They are looking at ICSAs as a potential source ofstaff for minimum numbers. The RMT believes this will set a damaging precedent. It will:

  • put passengers and staff at risk by putting the safe running of stations in the hands of minimally-trained volunteers
  • be especially dangerous during periods of heavy congestion e.g. the Olympics
  • undermine the importance of LU CSAs’ training, operational licenses and role, therefore threatening future staffing levels and job security.

By counting ICSAs towards minimum numbers, LU is breaching the agreement with the unions which settled the 2008 dispute over stations casualisation: that stations should be staffed byfully licensed and trained staff. RMT feels ICSAs’ minimal training disqualifies them as fully licensed and trained.

RMT is balloting all London Underground staff for ‘industrial action short of a strike’ over this issue. We cannot allow LU to use the Olympics to sneak in attacks that will undermine safety and job security for the long term. Ballot papers need to be returned by Thursday 19th July. Vote ‘Yes!’

All overtime is voluntary. LU should not authorise any overtime that breaks the Framework Agreement.

Stick Within the Framework!
RMT fought hard for an Olympic bonus that was based on hanging onto our conditions in the Stations
Framework Agreement. Even though LU will be short-staffed, the Framework Agreement still applies
during the Olympics. LU might try a few tricks to keep stations open. So remember: SRT can only be counted towards minimum numbers if the station where they are already working falls below numbers while they are on duty. SRT cannot be sent to a station specifically for the purpose of keeping it open. If we allow SRT to be a roving team of mobile cover to maintain minimum numbers then LU will soon cut down the number of rostered staff at each station.

All overtime is voluntary. LU should not authorise any overtime that breaks the Framework Agreement.
The Framework says you cannot work more than eight consecutive days. You must get twelve hours’
rest between duties, meaning you can’t book off at midday and book on again for a short block of
overtime at 1700.

Wheelchair Ramps
London Underground intends to trial Manual Boarding Ramps, to assist wheelchair users on and off trains, to be used during the Olympics if the trial is successful. LU are concerned that ‘if the London Olympic
Games are unable to provide the level access that was provided in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
then this would present a significant reputational risk to London Underground’.

RMT says LU’s concern for its reputation should not trump concern for safety. RMT questions whether a nearly 6 foot, 12.5kg ramp is safe for one person to handle, as LU claims. RMT also suggests ramps will cause, rather than ease, congestion on the platform. LU says all staff will be briefed on using the ramps.
RMT says staff should be fully trained. RMT also says additional staffing should be provided
for this additional duty.

Stations and Revenue Reps:
John Reid
Mac Mckenna
Mick Crossey
Paul Schindler
Malcolm Taylor

Assisting Passengers With Luggage
Following on from an incident, can we remind staff that they should take extra care if they help members of the public with their luggage. It is not in your job description. We are not porters. We don't have handling training, and most importantly, if you get injured, it will NOT go down as an accident on duty and you could receive a warning (as happened in the quoted incident).

Remember- conditions of carriage clearly state that passengers shouldn’t bring anything on to the tube if they can't carry it themselves. This will be especially important in the Olympics.

You can read previous editions of RMT Platform Newsletter here.

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