Trains Functional update on Night Tube, 4 day week and recruitment freeze

Today (Tuesday 24th May) we had the latest in a series of meetings regarding Night Tube (NT) and the proposed trial 4 day, 36 hour week (4DW).
(Background - As part of our dispute resolution LUL agreed to look at trialling a 4DW on the Jubilee line. This was to be negotiated at a Company Council Trains Sub-Group (CCTSG) at the same time as we negotiated the introduction of NT and the long term reduction of weekend working, and the option for current drivers (TO21s) to work reduced hours.)
Night Tube
The introduction of NT is supposed to be brought in with minimal disruption to TO21s. NT is being introduced by using part-time workers (TO23s) who will be allocated specific duties starting after 20.30 Fri and Sat and finishing before 08.29 on Sat and Sun. These TO23s will not be allowed to work on any “standard” shifts once NT starts. Until the start of NT we are seeking an interim arrangement that will allow TO23s to maintain their driving skills, at the same time as benefitting current drivers. This arrangement is not yet finalised but may see TO23s covering some dead late and dead early duties within their contractual hours.
There is one major point of contention between RMT and Aslef on NT and that is the allocation of night duties on New Years Eve. Your RMT reps believe that if NYE falls on a Friday or Saturday night the TO23s should be given first refusal to work. This is the same system that has been in operation for a number of years in depots that have night duties – if a TO21 is booked up to work a night turn and wants to work, he or she is booked to work and earns the bonus. Aslef want to do away with this system, forcing TO23s to be booked off and also use up one of their few annual leave days to cover the absence.
The NT sheets for the Central and Victoria lines will be made available to your TFC reps by June 20th for inspection. It is expected that a NT service on those 2 lines will commence running on August 19th but a “trial run” - without passengers but with the revised timetable - is likely to take place the previous weekend.
It is inevitable that the introduction of NT will impact on the current rosters through the loss of some duties, and the displacement of a small number of TO21s from roster to pool. It is planned to have “road shows” sent out to the NT depots in advance of the introduction to share details and answer any questions drivers may have. 
Four Day Week
The 4DW trial on the Jubilee line is something for volunteers only, where in order to compress 36 hours of work into 4 days the current driving parameters will be extended. Today LUL shared with us draft duty sheets for Friday and Saturday for all 3 Jubilee line depots, with both extended and standard duties included. They intend to prepare the remaining sheets plus, the roster, within the next week.
Many people will not be interested in working longer hours to secure an extra rest day, but there are sufficient volunteers at the Jubilee line depots to carry out a trial. If the trial is successful it could well be rolled out to other lines – always on a purely voluntary basis. The parameters need to be extended as follows:

  • Maximum driving time from 4h15m to 4h45m
  • Maximum spell without a break from 5h15m to 5h45m
  • Maximum length of duty (inc. meal break) from 8h30m to 10h

Those people choosing to remain on standard duties will not be expected to work outside of  their current parameters nor will their current rosters and rest day patterns be adversely affected. It is anticipated, at least by the RMT members on the TFC, that an indicative vote of all TO21s on the Jubilee line will take place before any changes are made.
The Commissioner for Transport announced last week an immediate freeze on recruitment and promotion for all grades. This may cause considerable hardship for a number of TO21s. The problem is that LUL recruited TO21s to populate NT within existing rosters and allocated them to depots where they believed they would be needed. However, they then changed their minds and decided to use only TO23s for NT leaving a large number of TO21s above requirements in some depots. With the freeze on recruitment LUL now needs to move some junior drivers from depots such as Leytonstone, Hainault, White City and Morden where they are above establishment to depots such as Queens Park and Earls Court where they are needed.
This was announced at a meeting of the Movements Sub-committee of the Trains Functional Council last week. It was completely unexpected and has caused considerable anguish to those affected. We have been assured that neither the numbers nor the locations are finalised and that another Movements meeting will take place on June 8th followed by an ad-hoc TFC meeting. These proposed moves are completely within current agreements, but before they are implemented there needs to be full consultation. Your reps are fully committed to reducing the impact any such moves have on our members and also to fully utilise all parts of the procedure to safeguard their interests.
We will try to keep you updated as things progress.
Best wishes
RMT Trains Functional Council