Issue 20 RMT Up front April 2012

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Still no deal for RMT drivers working the Olympics

Ongoing talks at ACAS for working during the Olympics have so far failed to reach any agreement.
The union has been clear all along that we will not agree to alterations or breaches to the Framework Agreements for the Olympics.
During the talks the RMT has stated that all grades of staff are entitled to a decent financial reward for Olympics working without having to break fundamental agreements. The RMT will continue to constructively discuss with LU the staffing arrangements necessary to deliver the transport service that London needs for a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The starting point for the RMT is that we believe that the Aslef/LU agreement for 9 and a half hour days and 6 tunnels on the Bakerloo Line is totally unacceptable for our drivers. The amount of driving time that the ASLEF and management propose will be exhausting and even potentially unsafe. The union has also received legal advice bolstering our position that ASLEF/LU agreement does not apply to our members.
Just as big a concern is that if we give away our hard fought for framework agreements and maximum driving parameters for a few pieces of silver, it will cause major problems for us in the future. When Management is being told to cut jobs and pay, they will think that if we can break parameters for the Olympics, then we can do so at other times.
These breaches of the framework agreements that ASLEF have agreed will come back to haunt us.
During the ACAS talks, RMT have learned that during the weekends 70% of driving duties on the District Line will be in breach of the framework agreements. On the Central Line as much as 79% and on the Bakerloo Line 72% - with the vast majority of turns maxed out to include 6 tunnels.
You thought your weekend 8 hour turn was bad? Try working the duties management have in store for you!
While we are discussing how best to deliver a service for the Olympics, Management are also talking about the ‘legacy’. For them the ‘flexibility’ and breaches of the frameworks they achieve during the Olympics are part of their strategy for the future. In other words, what we do for the Olympics, is more than a ‘one off’.
Every driver on the combine can rest assured. The RMT will not sign away basic framework agreements. Nor will we accept members being coerced to breach our agreements.
Talks at ACAS continue. The RMT will continue to keep all members informed and will issue advice to all drivers when the talks have concluded.

The Northern line Sting

ZZZZZZ Since August last year T/op's on the Northern line have been subject to sustained attacks from as yet unidentified insects. Whilst not exclusive to ,the majority of these insect attacks have been sustained by T/op's based at Morden.
To date these insect attacks have generated at least 12 eirf's recording varying injuries to T/op's ranging from stinging red bite marks to one T/op being hospitalised for 4 days requiring various critical care.
Of course, when these concerns were first raised by your reps the line management threw up every conceivable reasons for these attacks, blaming everything from they must have occurred outside of work to in one case maybe it occurred whilst the T/op was on leave! At no time did they acknowledge that maybe there was a problem in the workplace.
Clearly, it took a while for the line management to acknowledge that this was a serious issue causing concern and injury to staff. Eventually, they along with Tubelines/alstom carried out a round of fumigation in cabs of the Northern line fleet. They also placed flea traps in cabs for a week long period. Unfortunately, these efforts have not resolved the problem of insect attacks to T/op's.
Your reps have made it clear to the Northern line management that this situation cannot continue and must be resolved. We have asked that a line meeting of all stakeholders be convened at which a permanent resolution to this issue is found. To this end a meeting has been arranged for May 2nd.
In the meantime any T/op on the Northern line who thinks they may have been subjected to an insect attack but has not previously reported it should do so by approaching a duty manager an asking them to generate an eirf.

Platform Detrainments on the Bakerloo and Victoria lines

In 2000 a customer who had been overcarried into a sidings at Liverpool Street died after becoming disorientated and tragically falling between two cars. Following this incident the Rail Regulator instructed LUL to alter the process used for platform detrainments.
Previous to this event T/op's were instructed to detrain from their driving cab by making 3 PA's informing customers that the train was terminating and by turning the saloon lights on and off a couple of times. They would then close the trains doors and proceed.
This was replaced by T/op's, sometimes with the assistance of station staff, conducting a physical car by car detrainment.
Some time back LUL presented to the Trains Health & Safety Council (THSC) their plans to withdraw this method of detrainment on the Bakerloo and Victoria lines. The reason given for this was the addition of inner cars barriers. The one's on the Bakerloo line being similar to inter car barriers found on most other stocks, with the ones on the Victoria line 09 stock being part of the train design. LUL insisted that these additional barriers mitigated the risk of a fall between two cars, therefore doing away with the need to conduct physical car by car detrainments.
Your safety reps have made it clear to LUL that whilst this mitigation may reduce the chances of falls between cars it did not prevent the over carry of drunk or violent people who the T/op would then be exposed to in a remote location.
We were also told that as the 09 stock had in car cctv available the T/op would be able to ensure that each car was clear of customers by running through a quick check of the in car cctv. Oddly, the Victoria line management then decided that they didn't want T/op's to use this equipment but to revert to the detraining using the old method of PA's and flashing lights. With the introduction of new Rules within OSN101 covering carrying customers over shunt signals into sidings the Victoria line management took the view that by not locating someone on your train you are unlikely to ask them to get off therefore making it unlikely that they would refuse to do so!
Clearly, in light of the ridiculous approach of the Victoria line management and the increase in incidents in sidings on the Bakerloo line, one recent incident leading to one of our T/op's being spat at, your THSC members have referred this issue through to a Safety Forum with a view to reinstating car by car detrainments.
Your safety reps would remind everyone that the RMT still has an ‘action short of’ in place regarding the changes that were implemented as part of OSN101 and if asked to carry out any of these changes should refuse to do so.