Issue 21 RMT Up front

Click on the attachment to see the latest issue of RMT Up front, the newsletter for RMT drivers on London Underground. This issue focuses on the deal reached by RMT for our driver members. Main stories follow:

RMT wins gold for drivers

Talks at ACAS have achieved a breakthrough for RMT drivers on London Underground. The union’s General Grades Committee and LU have agreed a settlement which will mean that all RMT drivers will get a £500 bonus and £20 a day just for coming to work during the Olympics and Paralympics. There is also the £100 CSS bonus. The monetary payments for our drivers in this deal involve no agreement with the RMT to breach frameworks.

Following the breakthrough at ACAS, an RMT meeting of 150 Reps from across the combine debated the terms and recommended that our union leadership accept the deal. The RMT reps on the Trains Functional Council have issued guidance to our reps on allocating duties during the period in line with the agreement. Duties will be allocated as normal for special working, but where there are duties that breach framework agreements, management can only allow VOLUNTEERS to cover those shifts.
As the RMT Olympics agreement states, if there is a shortfall of volunteers at the depots there must be a Level 1 meeting called to address these issues. ASLEF have agreed for THEIR members to work these duties that breach the frameworks. The RMT has not. If there is a shortage of volunteers LU must therefore use ASLEF drivers to cover these duties. In such circumstances the union position is that these duties would be allocated using junior drivers under the PTOA process, but these would have to be ASLEF members. Obviously as soon as any member of staff signs an RMT form they are members of our union and covered by our agreements.
All other grades on LU will receive a £350 bonus and will also pocket the daily £20 attendance allowance. The RMT / LU agreement across the combine comes with no strings attached and no breaches to any framework agreements. The RMT would like to thank all our drivers for their patience in this matter. The union’s negotiations have been hampered by ASLEF breaking away and signing off wholesale breaches to the framework agreements last September. Considering that our members on stations and service control etc have received a no strings – no breaches to the framework agreements deal for £350, it is disappointing that ASLEF have effectively signed away the sacrosanct frameworks for £150 gross, about £90 after tax. This will come back to haunt that organisation; and their members will surely have questions of their leadership in this regard.
With all the financial arrangements agreed with the RMT, this deal has put potentially £1000 in every train drivers pocket without selling out our framework agreements. The RMT delivers for drivers.
London Underground has spent the last year seeking ‘volunteers’ amongst office staff to work as ICSA’s – customer assistants during the Olympics. No one seems to know what this stands for – Irresponsible Customer Service Assistant? Interim? Maybe even International? One thing is for sure, the RMT is extremely worried about the role LU has planned for them. During past strike days “volunteers” have turned up at stations in high heels and hi-vi’s with only the most rudimentary understanding of station safety procedures. Now management wish to use these staff to count as minimum numbers at stations. The union believes these staff will not have the necessary training or experience to deal with safety critical issues and to expect our drivers or the travelling public to rely on them during emergency situations is asking for trouble. The RMT also understands that the office workers in Broadway and elsewhere have been instructed to volunteer and are unhappy about being press ganged in this way and also at the roles senior management want them to play. With millions of passengers unfamiliar with the Underground arriving for the Olympics it is an accident waiting to happen. The RMT has lodged a dispute with LU on this matter and it is being dealt with at ACAS.

The ACAS deal in full

Certain parties may wish to put a different spin on the deal struck between RMT and London Undergound. To avoid any confusion the full wording is reprinted below:
“For the period of the Olympics and Paralympics, London Underground and RMT are prepared to work in cooperation to ensure that the Olympics are successful and to demonstrate to the world a successful model of public sector service. London Underground will attempt to staff all relevant Olympic duties on a voluntary basis. In the unlikely event that any of these duties remain uncovered, level 1 committees, where they operate, or their equivalent (but where not, functional councils) will as a matter of urgency, address these issues in order to resolve them satisfactorily.
Both parties confirm there are no remaining issues relating to Olympics reward and recognition between them.
In conclusion, LU has now reached agreement, or agreement in principle, with ASLEF, RMT, TSSA and Unite, and will honour the commitments within them.”

ANNEXURE 1
1. Where an employee falls within any of the groups set out in Appendix 1, the employee will be entitled to the corresponding payment referred to in the Appendix;
2. All London Underground employees (excluding Business Managers (Band 4) and above) shall be eligible to receive:-

a. A CSS bonus payment of £100, subject to London Underground meeting a CSS target of 78 for the relevant period;

b. A CSS attendance payment of £20 for each shift worked during the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (between 27 July and 12 August and 29 August and 9 September respectively);

In applying the above, LU will abide by commitments entered into with all
recognised trade unions.

High Heels and Hi-Vi’s

Talks at ACAS have achieved a breakthrough for RMT drivers on London Underground. The union’s General Grades Committee and LU have agreed a settlement which will mean that all RMT drivers will get a £500 bonus and £20 a day just for coming to work during the Olympics and Paralympics. There is also the £100 CSS bonus. The monetary payments for our drivers in this deal involve no agreement with the RMT to breach frameworks.
Following the breakthrough at ACAS, an RMT meeting of 150 Reps from across the combine debated the terms and recommended that our union leadership accept the deal. The RMT reps on the Trains Functional Council have issued guidance to our reps on allocating duties during the period in line with the agreement. Duties will be allocated as normal for special working, but where there are duties that breach framework agreements, management can only allow VOLUNTEERS to cover those shifts.
As the RMT Olympics agreement states, if there is a shortfall of volunteers at the depots there must be a Level 1 meeting called to address these issues. ASLEF have agreed for THEIR members to work these duties that breach the frameworks. The RMT has not. If there is a shortage of volunteers LU must therefore use ASLEF drivers to cover these duties. In such circumstances the union position is that these duties would be allocated using junior drivers under the PTOA process, but these would have to be ASLEF members. Obviously as soon as any member of staff signs an RMT form they are members of our union and covered by our agreements.
All other grades on LU will receive a £350 bonus and will also pocket the daily £20 attendance allowance. The RMT / LU agreement across the combine comes with no strings attached and no breaches to any framework agreements. The RMT would like to thank all our drivers for their patience in this matter. The union’s negotiations have been hampered by ASLEF breaking away and signing off wholesale breaches to the framework agreements last September. Considering that our members on stations and service control etc have received a no strings – no breaches to the framework agreements deal for £350, it is disappointing that ASLEF have effectively signed away the sacrosanct frameworks for £150 gross, about £90 after tax. This will come back to haunt that organisation; and their members will surely have questions of their leadership in this regard.
With all the financial arrangements agreed with the RMT, this deal has put potentially £1000 in every train drivers pocket without selling out our framework agreements. The RMT delivers for drivers.
London Underground has spent the last year seeking ‘volunteers’ amongst office staff to work as ICSA’s – customer assistants during the Olympics. No one seems to know what this stands for – Irresponsible Customer Service Assistant? Interim? Maybe even International? One thing is for sure, the RMT is extremely worried about the role LU has planned for them. During past strike days “volunteers” have turned up at stations in high heels and hi-vi’s with only the most rudimentary understanding of station safety procedures. Now management wish to use these staff to count as minimum numbers at stations. The union believes these staff will not have the necessary training or experience to deal with safety critical issues and to expect our drivers or the travelling public to rely on them during emergency situations is asking for trouble. The RMT also understands that the office workers in Broadway and elsewhere have been instructed to volunteer and are unhappy about being press ganged in this way and also at the roles senior management want them to play. With millions of passengers unfamiliar with the Underground arriving for the Olympics it is an accident waiting to happen. The RMT has lodged a dispute with LU on this matter and it is being dealt with at ACAS.

Pinch yourself

At the last Trains Health and Safety Council (THSC) meeting in April your staff side representatives raised the issue of Tunnel Telephone wires with LUL. This was in response to a report from our colleagues in maintenance that LUL proposed to remove them following a request from Tubelines to do so because of the cost of maintaining them.
Tubelines decided on this approach following an incident last year at Bond Street on the Jubilee line which caused a lengthy shut down after the tunnel telephone wires, unbelievably, became caught up under the wheels of a southbound train, causing a loss of traction current to both the southbound and northbound lines.
The response from management at the THSC was that the company was looking at the principles behind the provision of tunnel telephone wires given various maintenance issues. This had resulted in a Change Assurance Plan being considered at Director level, although no plan to remove on all lines had emerged at that time.
Clearly, since then things have moved on as a meeting has been arranged for wed 30th May on the Jubilee line to discuss the removal of tunnel telephone wires. No doubt this will follow on the other JNP lines and in all probability the rest of the combine. LUL obviously believe that going through this process line by line is the easiest way to achieve this change and avert the inevitable outcry from staff.
Your THSC staff side reps are strongly opposed to the removal of this important equipment. We are also mindful that LUL decommissioned signal post telephones earlier this year, this also came about due to a reluctance to maintain equipment, therefore saving money. LUL will always use Connect as a reason for these changes, which to a degree can be accepted with SPT's, however, the RMT believes that all drivers will recognise that Connect is unable to physically discharge traction current in an emergency! Indeed, if tunnel telephone wires were not available a couple of years ago on the Piccadilly line when one of our colleagues noticed a trains headlights fast approaching him in the wrong direction he would have had no way of stopping that train and averting disaster.
Let's pinch and rub out this ill conceived proposal. Any reps approached locally to discuss the removal of tunnel telephone wires on their lines should refer the
matter to the THSC.

  • Get the latest stations news on your Ipad here