Minutes: Regional Council meeting, 25 March 2010


  • Bakerloo: Jim McDaid
  • Camden 3: Geoff Palmer, Mick Crossey, Becky Crocker
  • Central Line West: Stefan Melnyk, Vaughan Thomas (meeting chair)
  • DLR: Chris Ives
  • East Ham: James Wong-McSweeney, Gordon Craig, Malcolm Collier, Tony Rowntree
  • Finsbury Park: Dave Rayfield, Will Reid, John Kelly, Dean O'Hanlon, Frank Curtis, J Miller
  • Hammersmith & City: Mark Harding, Josie Toussaint-Pinnock
  • Jubilee South & East London line: Lynda Aitken, Jane Gwynn
  • London Taxis:
  • LU Engineering: Lewis Peacock, Jackie Darby, Paul Jackson, Frank Murray
  • LU Fleet:
  • Morden & Oval: Arwyn Thomas
  • Neasden: Gash Carney, Jared Wood
  • Piccadilly & District West: Gwyn Pugh
  • Stratford no.1: Unjum Mirza, Terry O'Neill, Janine Booth (meeting secretary)
  • TfL no.1 branch: Carol Foster, Pete Woods, Anthony Burke, Roy Carey
  • Olly New (Council of Executives), Steve Hedley (Regional Organiser), Phil Boston (Organising Unit)


Joanne Parry, Neil Cochrane, Ross Marshall, Adrian Finney, Glenroy Watson, Neil Hodgson, Paul Rutland, John Kennedy, Malcolm Taylor, Adrian Rowe


Proposed by Hammersmith & City, seconded by Stratford no.1. Agreed.




Dave Rayfield reminded the meeting that on Monday 29 March, RMT reps and activists will be visiting central London stations talking to staff about the job cuts and signing up new members. Come to Unity House from 10am.

Phil Boston reported on the London Overground recruitment drive.

Points made in discussion:

  • Level 2 reps working with level 1 reps to help with current organising and campaigning activities.
  • Need to organise around issues of de-staffing at Heathrow Terminal 5.


Olly New reported on:

  • Heathrow Terminal 5 / RMT members at Heathrow Connect
  • Network Rail industrial action
  • London Underground job cuts
    • will affect all grades
    • need to leaflet the public
    • Early Day Motion
    • need for RMT contingent on 10 April demonstration
    • need to collate and publish information re under-staffing
  • Tube Lines ballot
  • DLR ballot re 3-car trains
  • still need more membership information to update and produce matrices for ballots
  • London Overground
  • bus committee officers opening talks with ATCU

Steve Hedley reported on:

  • 4.2% pay rise for LU members
  • today's Company Council meeting
  • deadline for LU to withdraw job cuts has now passed: dispute is on
  • management document on engineering job cuts
  • Bakerloo drivers' sackings
  • bus workers and ATCU
  • recommending acceptance of 2-year pay deal for London Overground

Points raised in discussion

  • London Underground job cuts:
    • need for public campaign
    • experience from call centre is that public support us
    • incidents at London Bridge and Kenton
    • need for serious strategy
    • prepare for strikes
    • strike fund
    • all grades, but one demand: no job cuts
    • more information needed re extent of PPP rip-off
    • current non-coverage of duties
    • re-calculation of reserve % for 35-hour week
    • need to provide information and answers to staff re voluntary severance
    • publicity for drivers
    • level 2 reps should visit eaker areas
  • deadline for resolutions to AGM? reply: 11 March
  • bus members
  • arrest of Alstom directors on fraud charges

Olly's replies:

  • employers are out to break trade unions
  • RMT is not perfect eg. sold out members over contracting-out to Alstom
  • LU jobs dispute will be all-grades
  • how 'head office' works

Steve's replies:

  • cost of using contractors
  • voluntary severance - need to convince people to think collectively rather than
    individually - it is not their job to sell
  • military spending and bailout of banks


Jenny Sutton addressed the meeting about:

  • the state of further education - cuts, etc.
  • University and Colleges Union (UCU) strike ballot in London colleges
  • standing as a TUSC candidate in Tottenham against David Lammy MP, minister for further education

Olly explained the rules re support for and donations to political candidates.

Agreed to donate £500 to political candidates supported by the Region once the Council of Executives had decided on our requests for support, subject to confirmation by the Regional Council Executive once we know the balance of our political fund.


(a) Adverse weather, submitted by LU Engineering, seconded by Hammersmith & City

This Region opposes the requirement that staff take annual leave if they were unable to get to work during "adverse" weather conditions
The recent guidelines from Howard Collins are unfair in some respects to all staff.
Travelling to your nearest depot or Underground station could be seen as reasonable for operational and maintenance employees who live in London, but not for those using Main Line Services or driving if roads and mainline are badly affected.
There were very hazardous conditions on ungritted pavements and residential roads and no account was taken of health and safety risks.
Meaningful work cannot be undertaken by ops/maintenance staff at home, or by office based or engineering staff at an Underground station or depot.
Giving up annual leave after being stuck on a train for hours is unreasonable.
Suggesting that staff take unpaid leave arguably amounts to unlawful deduction of wages.
Using the parental leave allocation is totally unacceptable. It is unpaid, it is not intended to apply to a national situation, and it only applies to pre-schoolchildren in the majority of cases.
LU's current policy tries to use every means to avoid having a proper plan for severe weather conditions. Calling the conditions adverse is the first cop-out.
We ask that RMT demands a proper plan for severe weather be negotiated so that the employer can no longer make the staff pay for management lack of foresight.

Carried unanimously.

(b) Stop TfL Selling Off LUOH, submitted by TfL no.1 branch, which accepted the amendment from Stratford no.1 branch, so the substantive resolution was as follows:

This region notes the attempted privatisation of TfL Occupational Health Service and wholly oppose the sell off our members rights to in-house occupational health services.
This is grave news as where this has happened in other parts of the railway industry it has lead to a reduction in treatment for our members and it also leads to a one way ticket to redundancy.
We need to oppose this sell off of our Occ health service and to do that as quick as possible we need to make it union policy and fight against it.
However, we are deeply dissatisfied with LUOH's current services, as while some members have had good expereinces, many members have had very bad expereinces of LUOH. On many occasions, LUOH appears to assist management in persecuting sick and disabled staff, and driving people out of work. We resolve that RMT should demand that LUOH prioritises staff health rather than management's financial interests.

TfL no.1 proposes, Stratford no.1 seconded, both formally. Contributions from several delegates.

Carried with 1 abstention.

(c) PTAC (Privilege Travel), submitted by LU Engineering, seconded by Camden 3 (formally)

We hear reports month after month of the increases in the cost of Travel; but we were always protected from these increases by Staff Passes and the PTAC.
Since the PPP and the privatising of the National Railway we have expected attacks to get rid or erode these privileges that we have acquired through united struggles led by our Unions.
With the changes to the method of paying for travel through Oyster Cards method Management has resorted to stealth to introduce increases in the price for our member's dependant family especially those attending colleges; whereas a dependant would have paid one price at a reduce rate for a all zone all day travel card; they now have to pay for every trip which is deducted from the oyster card as they get on and off; not forgetting the minimum purchase imposed on all travellers for buying an oyster card. Therefore we are now paying per trip (albeit at a reduced price) for an Oyster card and a minimum charge that if not used remain as money in the Bank for TFL.
These changes has been implemented; the first you get to hear about it is when your spouse or child informs you of them being refused travel; LU have not had the decency to inform their staff or consult with their Trade Union representative that they were introducing these changes.
This Region requests the Executive of this union to:
1. Put a stop to this erosion of our hard won "Privilege" and get LU to revise this stealth increase to something more like the deal we won; a one off payment for all day travel.
2. To get rid of the initial cost of the Oyster card.
3. Insist that LU carryout full consultation with the Unions when introducing changes that will affect us or our Dependants travel..

A delegate from DLR branch spoke in favour.

Carried unanimously.

(d) New grievance procedure, submitted by Jubilee South & East London Line and Hammersmith & City

This Regional Council opposes the decision made by the General Grades Committee to accept the new LUL Grievance Procedure.
This was done without consultation with either local representatives or branches.
We cannot understand why this matter was hurried through the GGC when the implementation date was 1st April 2010.

There were contributions from delegates from Camden 3, LU Engineering, and Central Line West. Olly New spoke. H&C replied.

Vote: 8 branch in favour; 0 against; 5 abstentions. Carried.


(e) Stations Job Cuts, submitted by Stratford no.1, seconded by Hammersmith & City

This Regional Council deplores TfL's announcement of 700-800 stations jobs. We reaffirm RMT's determination to fight all job cuts, and resolve to step up implementation of the campaign plan that we passed late last year.
We resolve to run a high-profile public campaign against these job cuts, as well as fighting them through industrial action.
We reject the assertion that London Underground has to cut jobs because of the economic crisis: governments should tackle recession by creating public service jobs not cutting them.
We resolve to have a banner made bearing our 'SOS: Staff Our Stations' campaign logo.

Contributions from Neasden delegate and Steve Hedley.

Carried unanimiously.

The Secretary asked the meeting to endorse the purchase of another 15,000 'SOS: Staff Our Stations' stickers at a likely cost of £3-400. This was agreed.

(f) Anti-EDL Demonstration, Bolton, submitted by Jubilee South & East London, seconded by Hammersmith & City (formally)

This region notes:
Thousands of UAF supporters gathered in Bolton to oppose the English Defence League on Saturday. The protest was strengthened by striking taxi workers protesting at the EDL coming to their city. It was a magnificent display of anti-fascism. We outnumbered the EDL by 4 to 1.
Just like Cable Street and Welling, it was not the fascist and racist thugs we had to deal with – it was the police.
Even before our protest had begun the police had decided that anti racists were the problem. They did everything they could to intimidate anti fascist protesters and to stop local people attending the protest.
Hundreds of Asian youths were blocked from joining the protest and were held under Section 16. Police and child protection officers walked through our protest warning parents that if they did not leave with their children they would be reported.
Hours before the EDL arrived in Victoria Square the police launched a series of savage attacks on the protesters - they brought out horses and police dogs and assaulted protesters.
They charged into our protest snatching leading members of UAF. At least 64 UAF protesters were arrested. But 60 of those were either released without charge or were given an £80 fixed penalty charge. This is a violation of the right to protest.
It was obvious to everyone on the demo that the police were targeting leading members of UAF. Weyman Bennett, the joint secretary of UAF, was snatched by police and has been arrested and is on police bail charged with “conspiracy to cause violent disorder”.
Likewise the secretary of Manchester UAF was arrested, whilst she was in the cells the police took her house keys without informing her and went to her home and confiscated her computer and files. They used a section of the prevention of terrorism act to legally justify this!
For hours protesters held their ground – outside the police kettle hundreds of protesters were stopped from joining the main protest. However, the situation changed when suddenly hundreds of Asian youth pushed through the police lines joining the UAF protesters in the square. A huge cheer went up and thousands chanted “No Pasaran”.
The police panicked and started to drive the EDL protesters out of the square and towards the train station.
The day ended with many Boltonians cheering on UAF protesters as they marched through the streets of Bolton chanting “Whose streets? – our streets!” The police issued a press statement complaining that UAF were holding a spontaneous victory march without their permission!
This Region resolves
• To support and build for all mobilisations called against the EDL (The details of the next protest are as follows: Saturday 3rd April, 11am, Market Place Dudley)
• To support the People's inquiry into the police in Bolton: (UAF will be submitting evidence to this panel and will invite all other interested parties to give evidence. The hearing will be open to all members of the public).
• To support and financially contribute to the “Defend Weyman Bennett” defence campaign.
• Help activists pay their fines: Around 30 activists were issued with £80 fixed penalty fines. UAF groups will be putting on socials to raise money to help people pay their fines. We should support and financially contribute to these socials.
• Re-double our efforts against the BNP including against Nick Griffin's General Election campaign in Barking and Dagenham.
To submit this motion urgently to the Council of Executives.

Carried unanimously. Agreed to make a donation, figure to be decided by the Regional Council Executive. £500 suggested.

(g) Petition Against £5 Minimum, submitted by Stratford no.1, seconded by East Ham

This Regional Council resolves to organise a petition of all station staff against London Underground's policy of a minimum £5 Oyster top-up at the ticket office window.
We believe that we have public support on this issue. Ticket office staff feel uncomfortable about telling customers that they can only put £5 on their Oyster, especially when the customer may not have the money. Station Supervisors and CSAs feel uncomfortable because customers could become confrontational with the risk of assault. Staff are also concerned that customers forced to go back out of the station to get a top-up may get stranded or assaulted.

Carried with 1 abstention.


  • From Ted Richardson re Retired Members' branch. Agreed to:
    • send best wishes and a gift to Brother Richardson
    • seek volunteers to run the Retired Members' branch




The Secretary reported:

  • Recruitment & organising plan - submitted to General Secretary, who confirmed £6,500 paid into our account
  • Amended standing orders - submitted to General Secretary, awaiting response
  • Grades committees - letters given to secretaries outlining policy; station grades committee up and running again; cleaners' grade AGM 15 April
  • New affiliation fee - notified General Secretary
  • Train reps' numbers - submitted for discussion at next Trains Council meeting
  • Train grades organisation - being carried out
  • TFC agreement 2009 - at every opportunity, RMT reps will state the union's opposition to this agreement and to job cuts carried out under the pretext of it
  • General Election candidates - submitted to the General Secretary the morning after the Regional Council meeting, but will not be discussed by Executive until 30 March
  • Special meeting on General Election candidates - invited branches to put forward names of any candidates they would like to propose supporting, and none put forward.


Pete Woods reported on a member facing medical termination following a series of assaults. Agreed to support protest at TfL office.

Meeting closed 18:55.