Upfront newsletter August 2016

Upfront is the newsletter for Train Operators on London Underground, produced by RMT reps and activists.  You can download it below to read the newsletter and share it with your workmates.

In this edition:

Night Tube launch imminent
Night Tube is expected to be launched on the Victoria and Central Lines and Jubilee Lines by early September.  We are told the final date is down to London Mayor Sadiq Khan sorting out the PR for the NT launch date announcement, but for RMT drivers there are much more important issues involved.
On both the Central and Victoria line concerns arose around the new rotas as management attempted to rush them through. The RMT has worked hard to resolve these issues and ensure that drivers on Night Tube lines get the best possible outcome with terms and conditions protected.

RMT Scheme Successful
The RMT pushed for the scheme which allows new NT drivers to get practice at driving before NT is launched, which means some late turn drivers are released early from duties when they are relieved.  This scheme has proven popular amongst drivers on NT lines and was only possible as the RMT pushed for it.

New Year’s Eve
RMT continue to argue that NT drivers be allowed to work NYE when it falls on Friday or Saturday night.  We don’t believe it is fair to force NT drivers to take annual leave at this time when they are expected to work every other Friday and Saturday Night.  The issue was raised at a recent Company Council meeting and the RMT will continue to push this until Night Tube drivers are treated fairly.

Violence Against Tube Staff Increases
Workplace violence on London Underground has increased by 8% and the RMT is concerned that Night Tube will lead to it going up further. We are already in a dangerous situation with job cuts on stations meaning drivers are more likely to face situations with nobody to assist.

Night Tube will mean more drunk aggressive passengers for drivers to have to deal with. LUL have denied that NT will be any more dangerous than other times, though their own reports contradict this.

RMT Health and Safety reps are pushing for workplace violence training to be given to NT drivers due to the increased risk they face.

We also want to know when stations are unstaffed. Right now bosses are refusing to say. Probably because the numbers are high and the promise of every station being staffed in traffic hours has been broken countless times.

S Stock seat survey
A survey asking questions about drivers concerns with the S Stock seat is being sent out to drivers on the Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City, Circle and District lines by management .The survey is backed by  the RMT and members are encouraged to complete it.

The survey will take place from 30th July to 3rd September and results are expected in mid October

RMT has pushed consistently for the seat issue to be resolved. This survey is a step forward and we expect that once the results are available LUL bosses will finally get this issue dealt with. 

Four Day Week Trial
London Underground is preparing to run a trial on the Jubilee Line of a four day 36 hour week. 
A previous RMT referendum about whether RMT reps should proceed with planning for the trial  showed members supported it by  52 per cent and so our trains functional reps are working to this principal. 
However, now that more information is available the RMT has decided to hold a second referendum to ask members whether the trial should commence. 
The duties that the trial will require include shifts of up to ten hours, with 4hr 45min handle time and 5hr 45min without a meal break being required of those that volunteer.

The RMT would like to see a  referendum of all drivers on the Jubilee Line, not just our members.  This trial will affect everybody and so we believe the fairest thing would be to allow all drivers to have their say on whether it should take place.

More SPADs at  depot with low morale
RMT Health and Safety reps were concerned but not surprised to learn that more SPADs are happening at a depot with low moral.  One line has seen several SPADS at one depot in the last few months and none at another.  Reps believe the cause of the SPADs is low morale due to the way the depot is run.
However, management are refusing to acknowledge any link between low morale and SPADs.  This will mean that more could occur whilst bosses ignore the cause, at a time when they could be implementing a solution.  

The RMT will continue to raise this issue and push bosses to improve morale at depots.

Active Shooter Incident Discussed
A meeting has been held with management and unions to discuss the threat and response to an ‘active shooter’ incident on board a train.

Draft guidelines have been provided by management which recognise that in some circumstances (where firearms are being actively used to cause mass casualties) it may be safer to open train doors outside of a platform to allow passengers to escape.

Of course this is an unlikely situation and should it occur is difficult to plan for concisely. 

However RMT reps are ensuring that the guidelines are sensible and that the requirement on drivers is safe and reasonable for the such a situation as this.

Upfront August 2016