The truth: RMT position on Night Tube drivers New Years' Eve working

NEW YEARS’ EVE WORKING 2016 - An update

Dear Colleagues It has been brought to my attention that Aslef has been making wildly inaccurate claims about this Union’s position on NYE payments for drivers. It saddens me to have to refute statements from another union, because I believe we should always strive to work together, but I cannot allow falsehoods to go unchallenged.

The RMT put a proposal to Trains Management that NYE duties this year should be allocated in the same way as they have been over the last 4 years. This would mean that those drivers who were rostered to work NYE night would be given first refusal AND get paid the enhancement if they chose to work. This would include NT drivers because this year, NYE falls on a Saturday.

Aslef trains functional reps, having first agreed with this position, then changed their minds and asked for all NT drivers to be booked off and have to APPLY to work their own rostered shift. They would then go to the bottom of the queue, to be selected on grade seniority. This would mean NT drivers on £23,000 a year would lose an annual leave day to allow full time drivers, on £52,000 a year to earn an extra £500 on NYE. Aslef persuaded Trains Management to agree to this inherently unfair proposal.

The RMT was obliged to refer this matter to the full Company Council held on July 7th, putting forward the above position. LUL has now agreed that NT drivers should not be booked off, as it is not only unfair but also potentially discriminatory. But this is only a partial victory for NT drivers because at the Company Council held on September 29th LUL stated that those NT drivers booked on to work would not receive the enhanced payment. During the meeting it became clear that the management side were unaware of the agreement that has been in place since 2011, and once this was explained to them by the RMT, with no assistance from Aslef, they agreed to reconsider their position and write to us with a decision.

Once we have that decision, if it is unsatisfactory, we will consider our next moves.

The RMT believes that EVERY driver who works NYE night is entitled to the same enhanced payment. To do otherwise would be discriminatory and would cause enormous bad feeling in the workplace with drivers carrying out the same work but getting paid differing amounts. For 31 years on London Underground I have worked for inter-union unity because I know that we gain significant benefits for staff when unions work together, so I am saddened to learn that Aslef is using divisive sectionalist tactics to the detriment of some drivers. Hopefully the majority of drivers on London Underground will recognise that the RMT is seeking a fair and just solution to this problem, and will support us in our aims.

John Leach
Regional Organiser

30 September 2016