London Transport Regional Council Meeting Synopsis, Motions & Reports

Updated with Regional Organiser Steve Hedleys' Report & Motions.

Synopsis from RMT LTRC President Vaughan Thomas

We had excellent contributions from the C of E member Janine Booth and the RO Steve Hedley. We also had a guest speaker who talked about the National Shop Stewards Network and the upcoming conference on June 9th in London.

We learnt that the RMT has secured an excellent deal for Underground workers for the Olympics; we heard that a member, supported by the RMT legal department, had just won his ET claim on discrimination; another member facing dismissal for a gross misconduct charge kept his job; and more positive news was forthcoming.

We had resolutions about the exploitation of textile workers in Asia; the changes to employment legislation in the UK; the unlawful extradition of alleged criminals to the US; homophobic adverts on buses and the exploitation and trafficking of sex workers.

We had reports from the LGBT conference; the young members group and the women’s group. We heard about the campaign to recruit agency workers on stations that LUL share with National Rail and the push to gain recognition for them.

All in all it was the sort of meeting that reinforces your passion to fight on behalf of your comrades throughout the world and that makes you proud to be RMT!

Regional Organisers Report

From Regional Organiser Steve Hedley

  1. Olympics.Lul managers are causing problems at Neasden and Barking where they refused to,let our rep in and refused to abide by the agreement that if there were not enough volunteers then a special level one committee would resolve the problem. Some managers are insisting despite all the evidence to the contrary including a deal signed by Gerry Duffy with us that we are somehow bound by a deal the society (ASLEF) signed off. This is wishful thinking on LUL'S part, the deal they wish they had signed rather than the one we did.

    Unfortunatly the RMT negotiating position was undermined by the Association signing off a deal (TSSA) in regards to admin staff who we argued should be paid in line with everyone else, this meant that despite our best efforts admin staff will only get 500 pounds and a possible 250 pounds thanks to you payment.
    It just shows that there is only one UNION for all transport workers the RMT.

  2. TFL RMT members to be balloted due to absolutley no olympic bonus being offered again the RMT is the only union willing to oppose this gross injustice by taking action.
  3. A very high profile person indeed has got their job back who for legal reasons i cannot name.
  4. service controll are being balloted over several issues including job losses.
  5. Thales ballot to go out over changes to conditions and 1 percent imposed payrise.
  6. CBS Outdoors big bonus agreed for olympic work 850 pounds no strings.
  7. 900 pounds bonus agreed on Uk Powerlink over Olympics.
  8. Darren Arnold of DLR branch unanimously supported for TUC lay members award.
  9. Nationa Shop Stewards Network conference this Saturday from 11am.
  10. London Overground ballot called off when Rep given caution on possible sacking offence.
  11. Clive Protheroe given warning after management see sense on over the top gross charge.

From Executive Member Janine Booth


Some ideas on what we need to do now
-> Get the ballot matrix sorted. We need to be ready to go with action as soon as we need to. Specific reps have been allocated to verify non-station grades; branch secretaries / membership secretaries to verify station grades. We should prioritise this until it is done, following a detailed plan and mobilising whatever resources are necessary. This should include a deadline, by which we will serve notice of the ballot with whatever matrix we have by that time.
-> Get information out to members. We need:
- a regional Olympics newsletter, covering all the various grades and companies
- reps out round workplaces
- responses to LUL/ASLEF propaganda
- a Q&A about the current situation
- a weekly email Olympics bulletin to all members in the region
-> Provide rights advice and support to members
- Ensure that all members have copies of their agreements, or a summary of them. We have Station Staff: Know Your Rights card booklets and agreements booklets for drivers. We could do with a summary for service control, revenue control and admin too; and engineering and fleet if they feel it is appropriate.
- Get a mobile phone, to be used solely for members to ring if they are asked to do anything they are not comfortable with, or have safety or other concerns. The phone to be answered 24/7 during the Games, held by full-time reps on a rota basis.
- Produce a ‘business card’ outlining the basic right to stick to agreements, and advertising the mobile phone number.
-> Pursue the dispute with LUL about its intention to count ICSAs towards minimum numbers; it is important that we fight this before and during the Olympics, not postpone until afterwards. This should include:
- ACAS talks as soon as possible
- drafting a briefing outlining our position; use it as a basis for information to our own members and the public via leaflets / press releases etc
- discussing with our relevant reps and with the TSSA the possibility of raising the issue on behalf of ICSAs themselves, perhaps even getting (some of) them to refuse to be counted towards minimum numbers or even to surrender their licences in protest
- most importantly, getting an ‘action short’ mandate in place in good time for the Olympic period, enabling our members to not cooperate with this disastrous policy
-> In each particular function:
- Functional council reps in all grades to scrutinise the rosters/duty allocations for Framework compliance.
- Ensure that clear advice is sent by our representatives on each functional council to level one reps about how the roster/duty allocation process should be conducted, to be followed up with personal contact. Ensure they get the fullest support, and any reported problems are identified and dealt with effectively. (Ditto safety councils.)
- The grades committee to discuss and agree what else needs to be done.
-> Additionally, on trains:
- Urgently challenge the exclusion of RMT reps from duty allocations; insist that they are run again where this has happened
- Identify those depots where there is likely to be a shortfall of volunteers. Urgently agree a strategy for the effective defence of our members at these depots.

GGC decision, 9 May:
We note the latest developments in talks at ACAS. Unfortunately, instead of going forward from the last wording agreed, London Underground management tried to change it, to add qualifications that appeared designed to tie us to agreements made by other unions and which we could not accept. In response to RMT’s claim for a £1,000 lump sum reward for all grades, LU offered £100 CSS bonus (dependant on targets); £20 per shift attendance for the four weeks of the Games events only; plus £500 for drivers, £350 for other grades, and no extra for admin staff.

We note that our negotiators told management our objections to this, and urged management to amend their stance accordingly so that talks can continue towards an acceptable settlement. This union and our members wish to see swift progress in these talks towards an agreeable settlement ie. one which gives an adequate financial reward to all grades without weakening agreements and working conditions.

We further note the resolution from our LU Engineering branch, which was also passed by our Regional Council, calling for a ballot of all members for action short of strikes; the report from our Regional Organiser recommending such a ballot; and the recent legal opinion which advises that such a ballot would strengthen the legal position of our members who refuse to work duties in breach of our agreements. We therefore instruct the General Secretary to make necessary preparations for this ballot as a matter of urgency, and to place this matter back in front of us once this is completed.

We further note that London Underground management has distributed an ‘expression of interest’ letter to drivers, asking them to indicate whether or not they wish to work duties that break existing parameters. The letter states that it has been produced through agreement with the trade unions, whereas it was in fact produced through agreement with ASLEF but not RMT. We object to this misrepresentation and in particular to the letter’s statement that ‘If you do not complete and return this form in sufficient time it will be understood that you are willing to work any duties that are allocated to you’, and instruct the General Secretary to advise London Underground of this. We note that our Trains Council representatives have circulated advice to driver members not to sign and return this letter, and instruct the General Secretary to advise driver members how to make clear to management that they do not wish to work the duties that breach existing parameters through a format agreed with our Trains Council representatives.

Finally, we instruct the General Secretary to ensure that the union is campaigning actively in London Underground workplaces in support of our stance on this issue, through workplace visits, appropriate publicity materials, recruitment, and direct engagement between representatives and members.
Further, we note the resolutions from Central Line West and Bakerloo branches, and welcome any assistance that the General Secretary is able to give to progress talks to a satisfactory conclusion. We further note that our Regional Organiser supports the suggestion of an urgent meeting of our London Underground representatives to discuss this issue, and instruct the General Secretary to ensure that this takes place. A report of this meeting is to be placed in front of us.

We further note that London Underground Ltd has yet to send us its proposed new wording that it promised at ACAS that it would send this morning. We instruct the General Secretary to insist that the company stop stalling these talks and send its proposal without further delay; to seek the earliest possible reconvening of these talks; and to place this wording in front of us once received.

GGC decision, 29 May:
We note the overwhelming view of our representatives expressed at the meeting on Friday 25 May, and accordingly instruct the General Secretary to advise London Underground of our acceptance of the revised proposal. We note that as a result, our members will receive up to £1000 for Olympics working, none of which is dependant on changes to or breaches of agreements. This union has stood its ground and refused to sign up to any changes to the agreements that protect our members’ working conditions.
We instruct the General Secretary to write to all members advising them of our acceptance of this offer; and to continue to provide information and updates to members on any further developments. We remain vigilant for any problems that may face our members concerning the Olympics, and instruct the General Secretary to place this matter back in front of us should this occur.

We further note the outstanding issue of ICSAs (Incident Customer Service Assistants), and that this is being addressed in a separate dispute. We reiterate our stance that ICSAs should not be counted towards minimum numbers of station staff, and instruct the General Secretary to: arrange talks at ACAS as soon as practical; and place this matter in front of us as a separate item within 14 days.
London Transport Regional Council and branches to be advised.

GGC decision, 2 May:
That we note the offer from CBS Outdoor of a 1.5% pay rise and a £500 Olympics bonus.
We support our Regional Organiser’s view that this offer is derisory and comes nowhere near meeting our aspirations. We therefore instruct the General Secretary to:
- Immediately conduct a ballot of all our CBS Outdoor members for strike action and action short of strike

- Set timescales for this ballot which enable co-ordination with other disputes in the London Transport region, so long as this is practical and does not unnecessarily delay action in any dispute
- Send a personal letter to all members urging them to vote Yes.
London Transport Regional Council and Camden 3 branch to be advised.

GGC decision, 29 May:
Further to our previous decision Gww 2 May 2012, calling an industrial action ballot of our CBS Outdoor members, we note that the employer has revised its stance, and is now offering 1.75% pay rise (increased from 1.5%) pay rise and an Olympic bonus of £850 (increased from £500).
We note our Regional Organiser’s report that a meeting of approximately 45 of our members and representatives unanimously recommended acceptance of this offer. We therefore instruct the General Secretary to advise the company of our acceptance, cancel the industrial action ballot, send a personal letter to all our members outlining the settlement, and place a copy of this settlement on the file LUL/22/2 OLYMPIC RECOGNITION AND REWARD – TRANSPORT FOR LONDON.
London Transport Regional Council and Camden 3 branch to be advised.

Ballot for industrial action over pay, conditions and Olympics taking place currently; closes 11 June.

Industrial action ballot currently taking place; closes 11 June.

Regional Organiser to report.

GGC decision, 29 May:
We note and endorse the correspondence from our Camden 3 branch and share its concern about the following actions by the employer:
1. Imposition of changes to working hours and shift patterns which have been unanimously rejected by our members.
2. No offer of any financial reward for working during the Olympics, despite the big increased in workload and the Games’ organisers’ promotion of cycling during the event.
3. The unfair and draconian attendance policy.
We therefore agree to the branch’s request for an industrial action ballot. We instruct the General Secretary to ballot our members for strike action and action short of strike as a matter of urgency, to send a personal letter to all members urging them strongly to vote Yes to both questions, and to offer assistance to the branch in organising for this dispute.
We further instruct the General Secretary to obtain a report on progress in securing recognition with this employer, and to place a report in front of us.
London Transport Regional Council and Camden 3 branch to be advised.
Request for £1 per week reduced subs has been submitted; to be discussed by the Council of Executives, week starting 11 June.

Petrit, our Sodexo canteens rep, has won his Employment Tribunal and will receive his deducted sick pay from the employer. Recruitment continues and should increase following this result. RMT is asking for a meeting with Sodexo as soon as possible to discuss recognition and Petrit’s return to work.

I will be attending this conference on Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 May (along with three other RMT delegates, two from our region), and will give a verbal report.
RMT has submitted an emergency resolution on the government’s attacks on Criminal Injuries compensation, and amendments to other unions’ resolutions on attendance policies and on workfare.

Deadline is TOMORROW (1 June). Only LU Engineering and Camden 3 have responded so far.

GGC decision 30 May:
We note the report from our local representative, that the issue has been resolved, and accordingly instruct the General Secretary not to proceed with the previously-agreed ballot for industrial action. We further instruct the General Secretary to obtain a more detailed report on the resolution of this dispute and place it in front of us.
London Transport Regional Council and branches to be advised.

Clive expects to receive the outcome of his disciplinary hearing today. Verbal report to be given.

I spoke about this at TUC Disabled Workers’ conference.
GGC decision 2 May:
We note the report from our representative on file, outlining how London Underground is implementing its Rainbow Attendance policy, the unfairness and detriment this is causing to our members, and advice to representatives. We endorse this report, and instruct the General Secretary to send it by post to all London Underground representatives.
All responses are to be placed on file, and further reports, correspondence and legal opinions are to be placed in front of us.
All branches with London Underground members and the London Transport Regional Council to be advised.

GGC decision 30 May:
We refer this matter to our Southern Sub-Committee for examination and report.

Read the guidelines here:
GGC decision 9 May:
We note the report from our Regional Organiser, that London Underground has written to RMT notifying us of its new guidelines for social media use. Once again, LUL has failed to consult us over a policy which significantly affects our members, and only asks for our "questions" after the document is published, not our input whilst it is being drafted.
Moreover, these guidelines will no doubt become a policy which LUL will use to scrutinise and discipline our members for expressing their views. This union should defend our members’ rights to express themselves and to use social media in their own time without fear of employer scrutiny.
Even more alarmingly, the guidelines require staff to report to senior management comments by other social media users which management may not like, raising the prospect of members facing discipline for failing to grass on others. Our members are not stool pigeons for management.
We therefore instruct the General Secretary to immediately respond to LU along these lines, to contact the other LU unions to try to agree a common approach, and table this for discussion at the next meeting of the Company Council.
London Transport Regional Council and branches to be advised.

GGC decision 30 May:
We note the correspondence from London Underground Ltd.
We instruct the General Secretary to obtain a report on the progress of this issue at LU Company Council, and to pursue the other unions for a response to our request for a joint approach.
London Transport Regional Council and branches to be advised.

GGC decision 17 May:
We note the correspondence from London Underground proposing a review of the machinery of negotiation and consultation.
We further note the comments from our Regional Organiser, that there are outstanding issues to be addressed under the current machinery, concerning RMT’s entitlement to local representatives in areas where the company does not currently recognise them.
We instruct the General Secretary to ensure that these issues are addressed before the proposed review begins.
London Transport Regional Council and branches to be advised.

GGC decision 30 May:
We note the issues raised by a member who works for the agency ‘Trainpeople’, the legal advice received, and that this employer argues that it is exempt from regulations concerning agency workers, as it is using the ‘Swedish Derogation Model’. We instruct the General Secretary to:
- provide our legal adviser with the further information requested, and place in front of us the further advice that will result
- provide full support to this member and others who are challenging the unacceptable practices of this and other agencies
- prepare a briefing for GGC members about the ‘Swedish Derogation Model’ issue and its implications for our members
We further note reports from our members of non-payment of wages by Trainpeople to our members on the Bakerloo line. We instruct the General Secretary to urgently obtain further details of this, and demand that Trainpeople pay any outstanding wages and commit to pay wages on time in future.
We further note correspondence on file containing allegations regarding the directors of Trainpeople. We instruct the General Secretary to establish the facts surrounding this.
We reiterate our stance that we believe that all transport workers should have secure contracts of employment, directly employed by an integrated, publicly-owned public transport system. We instruct the General Secretary to draft a report on the use of agency workers in our industries and proposals for organising them.
Any developments to be placed in front of us. Regional Councils and branches to be advised.

GGC decision 2 May:
We note the correspondence from ASLEF. We instruct the General Secretary to reply, advising ASLEF that RMT is campaigning against the introduction of Automatic Door Opening on the Victoria Line and urging ASLEF to join us in this campaign. Any further correspondence from ASLEF, and reports of local contact with ASLEF on this matter, is to be placed in front of us.
We further note that London Underground may be planning to introduce ‘driverless shunting’ on the Victoria Line. This would be a very dangerous development, worsening safety standards in depots, leading to possible job losses, and representing a further step towards ‘driverless trains’. We instruct the General Secretary to obtain a report on this from our LU Trains Upgrades Representative as a matter of urgency, and to place this in front of us.
London Transport Regional Council and branches to be advised.
GGC decision 30 May:
We note the correspondence from London Underground. We instruct the General Secretary to forward this letter to our functional council representatives of train, depot and service control staff, asking for their comments and any additional information they may have about this issue, and to place replies in front of us.
London Transport Regional Council and branches to be advised.

Ballot currently in progress: closes 11 June.
GGC decision 2 May:
In line with the recommendation of our representatives and previous decisions, we instruct the General Secretary to ballot our London Underground service control members on the Piccadilly Line and Sub-Surface Railway (SSR) for strike and action short of strike.
London Transport Regional Council, branches London Underground service control representatives to be advised.
GGC decision 30 May:
We note the further correspondence from London Underground regarding service control issues. We instruct the General Secretary to invite our Functional Council representatives to submit detailed comments, and to respond to the employer in line with these.
London Transport Regional Council, branches and service control representatives to be advised.

GGC decision 2 May:
We welcome the report from our lead officer, confirmed by our branch secretary, that the industrial relations difficulties in this department are currently being resolved to our satisfaction. However, we remain vigilant for management causing any further problems, and instruct the General Secretary to place this matter back in front of us should any concern arise.
London Transport Regional Council and LU Fleet branch to be advised.

The lead officer has been asked to provide an up-to-date report for the Regional Council meeting.
GGC decision 2 May:
We note the report from our lead officer and applaud our Tube Lines members for their solid, strong and effective strike action from 24-27 April. We also applaud those members on London Underground who refused to work duties that they saw as unsafe during the strike.
Our members’ actions caused over 50 trains to be cancelled, delays and disruption to other services due to the lack of Emergency Response Unit (ERU), Signal and Track response to operational incidents and failures. We understand that during the alarming incident with the Bakerloo line tunnel on Friday 27 April, the cobbled-together ERU had only two trained personnel on site.
The blame for these service disruptions and safety breaches lies squarely with Tube Lines management’s intransigence in refusing to accept our legitimate and reasonable claim for pensions and travel equality. We note that securing entry to the TfL Pension Fund for all staff not only benefits those staff currently excluded from it, but benefits all staff by helping to safeguard the future of the Pension Fund.
We instruct the General Secretary to obtain a detailed report on the impact of the strike action and safety breaches caused by management’s strike-breaking operation.
In accordance with the views of a meeting of our Tube Lines representatives on Friday 27 April, we instruct the General Secretary to:
- Facilitate a series of workplace visits by officers and Company Council representatives
- Instruct members not to work overtime from 00:01 on Wednesday 9 May until 00:01 on Wednesday 23 May
- Send a personal letter by post to all Tube Lines members outlining the contents of this decision
- Place this matter back in front of us on or before Wednesday 16 May in order to consider further industrial action to follow this overtime ban
- Obtain and place in front of us a report on London Underground’s response to our members’ expressed health and safety concerns, and vigorously defend any member who faces a detriment due to their having raised these concerns
London Transport Regional Council and branches to be advised.

GGC decision 17 May:
We note the report from our Regional Organiser that at a meeting yesterday,
Tube Lines offered the following:
- Tube Lines would start immediately to issue staff Oyster cards to all staff and also issue staff nominee passes in line with those issued to LUL staff.
- A joint working party would be set up to look at the rates of pay, terms and conditions, pensions and 75% reduction on mainline railways between Tube Lines and APD.
We welcome the stated intention of our Regional Organiser to arrange workplace visits and send emails, letters and text messages to members explaining the situation and our stance. We instruct the General Secretary to resource this dissemination of information.
We further instruct the General Secretary to:
- Advise Tube Lines of our stance.
- Send a personal letter to all Tube Lines members advising them of the progress of this dispute and the suspension of industrial action.
- Obtain regular reports on the progress of talks.
- Place this matter in front of us in the event of any developments.
London Transport Regional Council, branches and Tube Lines representatives to be advised.

GGC decision 9 May:
We note the correspondence from our London Taxi branch, outlining their objections to pedicabs, which include: lack of proper CRB or police checks; unsafe design; congestion; and lack of fare structure leading to passengers being ripped off.
We therefore accept our branch’s view that this union should campaign for a ban on pedicabs during the period of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and accordingly instruct the General Secretary to ask our Parliamentary group to submit an Early Day Motion, and to raise this issue with Greater London Assembly members.
London Taxi branch and London Transport Regional Council to be advised.

Verbal update to be given.

GGC decision 2 May:
That we note the correspondence from our Stratford no.1 branch, and the branch’s view that this union should maintain its stance that London Underground should provide uniform cleaning vouchers.
We note that LU management is refusing to discuss restoring the vouchers at the Uniform Consultative Committee, declaring that it considers the matter closed. We disagree.
We agree to pursue this issue by insisting that no member of staff is out of pocket through the replacement of the vouchers with a tax allowance. We therefore instruct the General Secretary to obtain a detailed report on the financial impact of this measure. This report is to be placed in front of us once received, following which we may place this item on the agenda of London Underground’s Company Council if necessary.
Further, we instruct the General Secretary to obtain a report from the Regional Organiser on release arrangements for our Uniform Consultative Committee representatives, and to place this in front of us.
London Transport Regional Council and branches with London Underground members to be advised.

GGC decision 2 May:
We note that London Underground has presented a staffing arrangement for the stations transferred from Silverlink in 2007, which attacks job, conditions, standards and safety, and contradicts the settlement reached by this union and TSSA with London Underground management in 2008.
London Underground’s proposal includes:
- ‘Mobile supervision’, with Station Supervisors covering multiple stations at the same time
- Supervision of stations only between 0700 and 2300, not for full traffic hours, let alone the 24/7 supervision enjoyed by all other London Underground stations
- Security guards opening and closing stations and booking contractors on and off duty
This is totally unacceptable, and clearly forms part of the employer’s agenda to cut station staff jobs and worsen their working conditions.
We note that this issue has been referred to ACAS, and instruct the General Secretary to arrange for this to take place as soon as possible.
We further instruct the General Secretary to:
- Write to all our London Underground station staff members, outlining the company’s plans and this union’s stance on this and other current stations issues, urging them to get active in the union, including information about our Regional Council’s Station and Revenue Grades Committee, and enclosing a membership form;
- Offer the Secretary and Chair of our Regional Council’s Station and Revenue Grades Committee the resources and support they need in campaigning in workplaces about this and other stations issues.
London Transport Regional Council and branches to be advised.

We have re-run our two-day women’s training course, again very successfully.
Our Regional Women’s Officer has produced some excellent posters and badges, which the Women’s Advisory Committee has asked to be produced nationally.
RMT will soon launch our model policy on domestic violence, and submit to all employers. I am discussing with Women’s Aid and other relevant organisations getting their support and involvement in this.
Women’s lunch went very well - similar events to follow.

National LGBT conference took place earlier this month. Report to be given.
All six resolutions - all from branches in this Region - were passed: ‘gay cure’ bus adverts; homophobia in schools; international LGBT rights; RMT LGBT organising; equal marriage; calling on ITF to set up LGBT section.
Paul Penny (Stratford no.1 branch) was elected national vice-chair.
New RMT membership now includes sexuality/gender identity disclosure option.

- New RMT merchandise has been ordered from Sindyanna, a women workers’ cooperative associated with the Workers’ Advice Centre, an independent trade union organising centre in Galilee.
- RMT has written to various trade union bodies asking for their support for campaigning against Alstom’s involvement in the Jerusalem Light Railway – verbal update to be given on replies.
- In conjunction with WEA, I have planned a one-day seminar for trade unionists on Autism in the Workplace.
- TUC Organiser award – General Secretary has asked all Executive members if any object to the union nominating Darren Arnold for this award. I have indicated support.

Statutory Executive meeting – week starting Monday 11 June
Cuba Garden Party - Wednesday 20 June
Women’s East End History Walk - Saturday 23 June
AGM/Young Members’ Course - week starting Sunday 24 June
Showing of The Navigators - film about rail privatisation - at WEA London - Tuesday 24 July

Motions Passed At LTRC


This Branch/Region notes

Islamophobia was fuelled by the British state after 9/11 and in the run up to the invasion of Iraq.

Today, Islamophobia has become a central plank of fascist and racist organisations like the BNP and EDL.

We re-affirm our support in campaigning against the BNP, the EDL and the newly launched British Freedom Party, an organisation formed out of an alliance of former BNP members and the EDL.

This Branch/Region Believes

The 2003 UK-US Extradition Treaty is unjust in that British Citizens are held in maximum security prisons for years on end without being charged for breaking British laws.

In the case of Babar Ahmad evidence against him was transferred to the US authorities before the Crown Prosecution Service could even consider the case against him.

The same legislation is now being used against Syed Talha Ahsan and Gary McKinnon, both who suffer from Asperger's Syndrome as well as Richard O'Dwyer.

All of the above remain in limbo as extradition to a foreign jurisdiction thousands of miles away in the US hangs over their heads. They will be separated from family, friends and legal representatives.

If extradited to the US each individual is likely to face up to three years in solitary confinement awaiting trial.

This Branch/Region Resolves

1) to affiliate to the 'we are Babar Ahmad Campaign'

2) To invite a speaker to the Branch/Region

3) To support initiatives highlighting and campaign against the unjust 2003 UK-US Extradition Treaty

4) For the Council of Executives to raise this urgent matter for the attention of the TUC with view to assisting in launching a Campaign against the Treaty

Motion on Employment Tribunal Rights

This branch notes:

1. Legal representation is an extremely important issue for members of the RMT branch and al other workers.
2. The Coalition Government is now planning changes to legislation that will severely curtail workers' rights in employment law.
3. A new book, "Struck Out", by socialist lawyer and activist Dave Renton has been published, one of the very few serious studies of this new threat.

This branch resolves:

1. To encourage other branches to buy copies of "Struck Out" for reps to read about the coming threat to workers' rights.
2. For the region to organise a meeting, via the political officer, for RMT members with the author of "Struck Out" as well as black listed trade unionists who have been fighting over workers' rights, on a convenient day.
3. For the council of executives to organise similar meetings in other regions.

‘Gay Cure’ adverts on TfL Buses Jubilee South

It is disgraceful that such clearly homophobic adverts could get so near to being placed on London buses.

The adverts were only stopped once there imminent unveiling across the city was highlighted in the national press.

TfL should have guidelines in place so that its contractor responsible for advertising understands that these adverts are offensive to LGBT people and others.

The responsibility is with TfL. If they wish to be perceived as a gay friendly employer - as of course they should - they must ensure that they aren’t covering their property with adverts extolling the joys of being cured of homosexuality, regardless of the ten thousand pound income they reportedly lost from cancelling such adverts.

There is confusion over whether TfL blocked the advert, or the mayor of London did so.

We ask that RMT General Secretary Bob Crow write to TfL to express our disgust that such a situation should ever arise, and also to enquire who it was that ultimately blocked the adverts- TfL or Boris Johnson.

Provision for children with special needs

This union notes the government’s announcement of changes to provision for children with special needs. While the current system is not perfect, these proposals will cut provision, and are a significant attack on support for the most needy kids and the jobs of those education workers who support them.
Government plans include giving parents a 'personal budget' for their children. Rather than being able to expect the support and services that our kids need, parents will need to 'shop around' for services, putting cost rather than need at the centre of decision-making.
We deplore the claim 'too many' kids are identified as having special needs, with around 20% having some kind of need identified and 2.7% having a Statement of Special Educational Needs.
Our underfunded, fragmented school system is failing to meet children's needs, leaving many with unmet needs which require special attention. The government should tackle this problem rather than penalising our kids by withdrawing special needs provision.
Some of the increase in special needs provision is because progress over the last few decades has recognised and addressed conditions such as dyslexia and autism. This should be welcomed, not cut.
We ask the union to contact education unions and appropriate campaigners, and urge parents, students, school workers and unions, disability campaigners and others to unite to stop this attack and win decent provision which meets the needs of every child.

For full minutes and details of the Regional Council meeting, please try and attend. It is held on the last Thursday of each month. Check out this sites events calendar for more details.

What is a National Executive Committee decision?

This article is an 'executive decision' which has been written by the RMT National Executive Committee. The National Executive is the union's governing body in between AGMs. Its decisions set out what the union will do on a particular issue.

These decisions can often be brief, and may be one of several passed over a period of time. To get a better understanding or find out more information about what the RMT is doing, speak to your rep or attend your branch or Regional Council meeting.