Central Line West organisation report 2009

organiseThe Regional Council Secretary wrote to all branches, asking for their assessment of their branch’s work during 2009, and suggesting that they might address the following points:
- whether your membership grew or shrunk during 2009, and why you think this is
- any problems you have had filling reps’ positions within the branch’s area
- how effective your branch was during any industrial action in your area last year
- what recruitment activities you have organised
- any comments on how the union, either nationally or regionally, has helped (or not helped!)
- ideas for future improvements


Central Line West branch's report

Central line west had an extremely busy year, in the most part due to the Bus Worker members. Although we were kept busy with the LUL strike, the most intense part of branch business was dealing with Bus Worker issues. The branch dealt with approximately 85 representations of Bus Workers throughout the year (and this was only cases where local reps couldn't either cope or were unavailable). We had no option but to pay ex LUL, BR and Bus Worker Representatives to represent members in need as it was agreed by the branch that it was far too risky to have LUL reps continue to represent our Bus Worker colleagues. The result of this was an expenditure of approximately £1800 from branch funds to assist Bus Workers during the year. The GS agreed to reimburse £800 of this from central funds which was gratefully accepted by the branch.

Our numbers have maintained a fairly steady course throughout the year with a more or less even number throughout, however there have been many transfers into and out of the branch due to Bus Workers being transferred to geographically closer branches. I haven't carried an in depth analysis of the leavers and joiners trends however an overview suggests that the majority of movements are those of Bus Workers who tend to leave and join at a great rate.

During the LUL strike we lost three Driver members and approximately 6 station staff however this was balanced by new station staff members joining. We currently have 838 members (of which 443 are Bus Workers) We elected two R&R Officers at our AGM and both are extremely keen to get out and about. To that end we are in the process of organising a recruitment and retention day in Feb to cover both trains and stations. Depending on how successful the format we use is we intend to make it a regular event (at least every 2 months). We are also looking at doing something on a smaller scale on branch days i.e. visiting specific sites prior to the branch meeting, particularly sites where membership is low or where contact is low.

All our reps and branch positions have been filled with two new Industrial reps on stations and revenue. Unfortunately attendance at branch by reps is still relatively poor with a less than 50% turnout at half the meetings. This is something I intend to focus on throughout this year. Although it has to be said that attendance in general at branch has been extremely good through the year, particularly with Bus Drivers.

Overall it has been a positive year but much work needs to be done. Our main focus in the coming months is to gain more LUL staff particularly Drivers so that we have a stronger hand when we are in dispute and in particular to fend off the ludicrous attacks from aslef when we are in dispute.