Why RMT Will Not Sell Our Framework Agreements


What is RMT calling for?

RMT wants all grades of transport workers to receive a decent financial reward for working during the Olympics without compromising our agreements.

What are Framework Agreements?

On London Underground, each function – trains, stations, revenue control, service control, managers and admin, APD stations, fleet, track and signals – has its own Framework Agreement, which sets out rules on issues such as: maximum and minimum duty lengths; breaks; rest periods between duties; maximum consecutive days’ working; overtime; leave; and the conditions under which management can ask or require you to work at different times or locations.

How are Framework Agreements made?

Management and the unions negotiate on various aspects of our working conditions and reach agreements. We have had to fight hard to win the rights that we have in these agreements, through years of industrial battles and sacrifices.

Why are Framework Agreements important?

They are a clear set of rules which give you rights at work. Your Framework Agreement sets limits on how much management can mess you about and makes sure you get quality time away from work.

With staffing cuts and management’s regime in the workplace, our working lives are hard enough as it is. If we did not have Framework Agreements, or if those agreements were weaker than they are, then imagine what your working life would be like – management could walk all over you.

Agreements are like flood defences: if we let holes open up in them, the flood waters could break
through.

Can London Underground run the service that London needs during the Olympics under the current Framework Agreements?

Yes.

So why does LU want to change our Framework Agreements or encourage us to break them?

After the Olympics, London Underground will try to cut jobs again. We have plenty of evidence for this
– the talk of driverless trains, cuts to maintenance frequencies, and LU’s refusal to guarantee that it will keep stations staffed.

"Cutting staffing will open up gaps in coverage that management can not plug under the current Framework Agreements. They want to weaken the agreements so that they can make us into a ‘Martini workforce’ – working any time, any place, anywhere to cover for their reckless, money-driven job cuts."

Cutting staffing will open up gaps in coverage that management can not plug under the current Framework Agreements. They want to weaken the agreements so that they can make us into a ‘Martini workforce’ – working any time, any place, anywhere to cover for their reckless, money-driven job cuts.

If we agreed to change or break Framework Agreements now, the consequences in the future could be disastrous for us.

Can management force us to break agreements?

No. The agreements can only be changed by agreement between the unions and management. So long as you are a member of a union that has not agreed to break the agreements that govern your working conditions, management do not have the power to compel you to break them.

Our legal advice backs this up, confirming that there are only limited methods by which LU may try to
impose changes to terms and conditions on our members without their consent and that it is unlikely to be able to use any of these. Our legal advisers expect RMT to advise members that the changes are unlawful and you can work your existing terms.

RMT will not tolerate any form of coercion of members to break agreements and will use our full strength to defend any member who resists this pressure and insists on abiding by our agreements.

How can we justify a better money reward without agreeing to change our Frameworks?

We will all be working really hard this Summer – not just during the Games, but before, during and after them too. There will be a huge increase in numbers of passengers, mostly from outside London and unfamiliar with the Tube. Security will be high, there will be three peak periods and later running.

LU may want us to ‘give something’ for the cash reward we want the company to give us. We can give London Underground co-operation, hard work and flexibility within the agreements. What we can not and will not give them is our hard-won rights and agreements.

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