Upfront Train Drivers' Newsletter Mid July 2015

Upfront is the regular newsletter for London Underground train drivers. Please download it and distribute it in your depot. In this edition: Unions In Unity - Time For a Good Deal Congratulations to members of all grades in all unions who took strike action last week. The support was outstanding, and the effect on the service devastating. We are now firmly in the driving seat as negotiations reopen. Propaganda from LUL, the Mayor, the Government and the media built up to a fever pitch in advance of last week’s strike. Pleas to individual staff members fell on deaf ears and the press hysteria only had the effect of strengthening our resolve. The support from all grades has been fantastic with the overtime bans already causing a shortage of prepped trains and a number of station closures. We have shown the effectiveness of an all-grades trade union, but we need to keep up the pressure to make sure that any settlement rewards all grades equally. Just seventeen drivers - 0.4% - came in to “work” none of whom drove trains. Bosses rewarded their “loyalty” by instructing them to put on Hi-Vi vests and point passengers in the direction of overcrowded buses. Despite the media referring to the strike being about “greedy drivers” after more money, our message is being heard. We are trying to safeguard our work-life balance which is being jeopardised by a company intent on running more frequent services – with more work but no recompense for us. What are we asking for? It was way back in 1992 that LUL changed the way we are paid from an hourly rate, with enhancements for unsocial hours, to the salaried system we have today. The key problem is that service increases, especially at weekends and evenings, have not been taken into account when we get pay increases. Now bosses expect us to work through the night with no financial incentive. Many staff started work when we only worked 1 in 4 Sundays and 2 in 4 Saturdays with regular 4-day long weekends. Our current rosters bear no resemblance to that. On the stations there are staff who only get 1 long weekend a year. These rosters place incredible stress on the relationships of all grades but LUL are refusing to acknowledge this. With new action called for 5/6th August it is more important than ever to maintain this Unity and get a deal that is acceptable to our members. Train drivers are asking for:

  • A consolidated (pensionable) one off rise to reflect the changes required to our agreements to facilitate night tube
  • An immediate freeze on weekend working levels with a commitment to return to levels prior to company plan with a cap on the maximum amount worked
  • Compensation in terms of time off and payment for night tube turns
  • A decent pay rise and commitment to move to a 32 hour 4 day week
  • All other aspects of our claim to be addressed

Night Tube Extension Already Planned Tube bosses have already planned to extend Night Tube to more lines. They have detailed how much the night time economy is growing. That'll mean more trains running on more lines in future, which means more night work for all of us. This means we have to get the right deal now if we are to allow bosses to change our frameworks. What comes out of this dispute will lay out how we are expected to work for the rest of our careers. TfL has a report which evaluates the economic effect of running Night Tube on Thursday night. Whilst they think about the economy, we need to think about what the future of an extended Night Tube will mean for us.

Upfront Mid July