Minutes: Regional Council meeting, 26 March 2009


  • Bakerloo branch - Malcolm Taylor, Micky Hyde, Jim McDaid
  • Camden no.3 branch - Pat O'Brien, Geoff Palmer, Clara Osagiede
  • Central Line West branch - Vic Parmar, Vaughan Thomas (meeting chair), Stefan Melnyk
  • DLR branch - Chris Ives
  • East Ham branch - Chris Tugwell
  • Finsbury Park branch - Derek Bishop, Frank Curtis, Glenroy Watson
  • LU Fleet branch - Kieran Crowe
  • Hammersmith & City branch - Josie Toussaint-Pinnock
  • Jubilee South & East London Line branch - Elaine Holness
  • LU Engineering branch - Andy Littlechild, Frank Murray
  • Morden & Oval branch - Bob McMunn
  • Neasden branch - Jared Wood
  • Piccadilly & District West branch - Brenda Sutton, Brian Haughian, Garrett Kelly, Andy Leach, W Malik, Tom Presho, Olly New, Gwyn Pugh, Michael Livingstone
  • Retired Members' branch -
  • Stratford no.1 branch - Unjum Mirza, Janine Booth (meeting secretary), Bill O'Dowd
  • TfL no.1 branch - Carol Foster, Paul Rutland, Lindsey Rutland, Peter Woods
  • Thames Riverboats branch -
  • In attendance - Steve Hedley (Regional Organiser), Ed Shine (East London Rail branch)


Neil Cochrane, John Kelly, Jon Abdullah, Lewis Peacock, Raj Vyas, Adrian Rowe, Becky Crocker, Jo Parry, Linda Wiles, Damian Franklin, Adrian Finney, Dean O'Hanlon, Dave Rayfield, Jason Humphreys, Paul Jackson, Andy Izard, Peter Heyes, Gary Fitzpatrick


Proposed by Piccadilly & District West, seconded by Camden 3 - agreed as accurate.

3. MATTERS ARISING from the minutes of the previous meeting



Dave Rayfield was unable to attend, so had asked Derek Bishop to report on his behalf. Derek reminded everyone to ensure members were in the correct branch, and explained how to do this.

Steve Hedley apologised for inadvertently distributing membership details inappropriately. Discussion followed regarding LUL and TfL management's attempts to prevent reps using internal e-mail facilities.


Olly New reported on:

  • Issues and industrial action elsewhere in rail industry: Southern, National Express East Anglia, Arriva Trains Wales, Network Rail, London Overground
  • Taxi drivers joining RMT
  • AGM delegates for this region - Brian Munro, Janine Booth, Linda Wiles, Paul O'Brien, Bill Teale, Glenroy Watson + by-election in progress for further 2 delegates
  • Head office staff pay rise of 2.5%
  • Post Office privatisation
  • LUL/TfL job cuts and ‘Jobs for Life’ deal
  • Lobby of Parliament, 5 May
  • G20 demonstration, 28 March
  • People's Charter
  • National campaign against zero-hours contracts
  • No2EU election campaign
  • Conference on European rail privatisation, 16-17 May
  • ETUC demonstration, 15 May, Brussels
  • May Day
  • Tetra radio - the report is on national RMT website
  • Guide to refusal to work on the grounds of safety - done, but very legalistic
  • £2k rise on EDF Powerlink accepted
  • Willesden Green group ballot result
  • Piccadilly line ballot results due tomorrow
  • LUL/TfL dispute - emphasising importance of Yes vote

The President advised that questions and points re the LUL/TfL dispute should be addressed to the Regional Organiser's report rather than the Executive report.

Questions/points raised in discussion:

  • 'Refusal to work on grounds of safety' guide - several delegates expressed annoyance that it would not be the sort of guide we wanted, and felt that we should do our own. Unjum Mirza said that he could write a guide. Reply - agrees that it should have been done differently and we should do our own.
  • Head office pay rise - several delegates felt that the rise was not enough, and would be used against us by the employers we are in dispute with. Reply - delegates should raise this at the AGM.
  • New step-back procedure on Northern Line could threaten jobs. Reply - agrees: drivers' jobs are not as safe as ASLEF think; there are various ways in which they could be attacked.
  • World Conference on Racism. Reply - Olly continues to pursue this.

Brother New was thanked in the usual manner.


Steve Hedley reported on:

  • LUL/TfL dipsute - good support in workplace - management documents reveal our concerns are valid
  • Appalling treatment of our Waterloo stations rep Elaine Holness
  • ISS/TubeLines have reneged on London Living Wage - should involve MPs in our campaign
  • Willesden Green group - meeting local rep/branch in a few days' time to agree action
  • London Overground

Points from discussion:

  • LUL/TfL dispute
    • many reports of strong support among members
    • new procedures eg. drivers resetting plungers, rewriting of OSNs, threatens station staff jobs and makes drivers vulnerable
    • need to involve other unions if possible - and if not possible at head office level, to approach their members at rank-and-file level
    • reports of responses from other unions eg. TSSA circular on Rickmansworth group
    • seek reassurance: no problem with ballot papers
    • must insist on one-year deal
    • need to keep pressing members to vote throughout balloting period
    • need specific letter to SRT
    • need specific letter to probationers (not just paragraph on end of general letter)
    • Executive should produce leaflet for public - AGM policy they should consider this for every dispute
    • need for discussion on tactics and ideas for action
    • members don't want to be marched up the hill only to be marched down again
    • TfL: other unions weak and divided
    • report from strike committee - lead reps, phone message line, GS visiting workplaces, publicity, co-ordination of negotiations with RO leading, meetings, branches please donate!
    • suggestion of mass meeting on day of ballot result (8 April)
      - Reply: TSSA has been invited to join dispute, but won't because signed up to OCP - should unite with members of other unions where possible, but the issue is not always unity, sometimes it is leadership; Exec member should attend negotiations too; yes to probationers' letter; there is loads of info on RMT London Calling website - use it!
  • Cleaners
    • we need a strategy beyond just publicity stunts
    • bullying of reps and members
    • RMT should take on sacked reps as organisers, as it has previously with other activists after leaving employment
      - Reply: We need a realistic discussion re achievements so far and viable strategy from here on.
  • TSSA's ballot on £5 minimum: wrong priority, also unnecessary and may be counter-productive

Brother Hedley was thanked in the usual manner.


Ed Shine, East London Rail branch, spoke about the disputes on London Overground and National Express East Anglia:

  • London Overground has only existed since November 2007 - RMT has gone from very weak organisation to massive ballot result and victory in 14 months
  • Lesson: The grass roots must be organised and sometimes need to tell the national leadership what to do
  • On National Express East Anglia, the issues are redundancies and use of agency staff
  • During the meeting, Ed received news that Executive has suspended Monday's strike on National Express East Anglia. He felt that if the employer's concessions were substantial, this would be reasonable news; but if not, the suspension would be unpopular. This fight is not over.
  • Ed had been instructed by his branch to pass on solidarity greetings to us for our dispute.

Ed was thanked in the usual manner.


(a) Management Bullying of Staff, from East Ham, seconded by DLR

That East Ham Branch believes that the tactic of isolated & localised action as seen on London Underground last year was not as effective as it should have been, whilst being strongly supported. It would now be fair to say that local managers are redoubling their efforts to intimidate and bully staff into coming into work sick or face redeployment. This is certainly still happening by the current GSM on East Ham group.
London Underground Management are still persecuting our staff when they are sick, still bullying our members in the workplace, still trying to put our safety at risk by pushing for lone working outside on gate lines.
We believe that these tactics are being encouraged and supported by senior management to destroy our agreements and rip up our terms and conditions. Our membership is demanding action at the threat of leaving the Union if some action is not taken to stop these attacks.
We know that whatever they get away with in one area is soon rolled out to others. Our membership in other grades should be aware that if they get away with attacking us, they will come for them next.
We must stop the rot before it eats away our terms and conditions completely.
We feel strongly that our regional organiser should approach our comrades in the TSSA with a view to organising joint strike action against this oppressive management. Regardless of the outcome of this meeting & with or without the TSSA we believe that we need to send a clear message that we will not be cowed by their intimidation and threats.
Therefore the East Ham branch calls upon our Regional Council to support and organise an all grades ballot on London Underground with the intention of closing the system to highlight the plight of our staff. This ballot is not to involve discussions on lost of jobs or 2009 pay talks but held separately.

After proposing the resolution, East Ham branch withdrew it as it had been overtaken by events.

(b) Cleaners, from Finsbury Park, seconded by Camden 3

We note with increasing concerns the intensification of the attacks on our Cleaning Grade members and Representatives by their Bosses which have led to vindictive sacking spearheaded by ISS.
ISS have now refused to pay the outstanding London Living Wages (LLW) for Cleaning Grade staff working via sub contractors TubeLines and there is no indication that they will pay the LLW for 2009.
This LTRC call upon the Leadership of the RMT to start an immediate campaign among Cleaning Grade members – which if successful, must lead into a ballot for industrial action in order to continue the work of advancement of this section of the workforce.

Vote: Unanimously passed

(c) ‘Blame the bosses’, from LU Fleet and TfL no.1

Neasden branch proposed that this be adjourned to next month as it would be controversial and required enough time to debate fully. The proposing branches agreed.


(d) Training and Strategy re Employment Act 2008, from Piccadilly & District West, seconded by Hammersmith & City branch

On April 6th 2009 the Employment Act 2008 repeals 2002 Employment Act sections 29 to 33 and Schedules 2 to 4 (which make provision for statutory dispute resolution procedures).
It also repeals the Employment Rights Act 1996 (c. 18), section 98A (procedural fairness).
Changes to this legislation will have a serious impact on our ability as Reps to support our members in disciplinary procedures.
This Regional Council calls upon Head Office to ensure a training program be written to ensure all IR Reps are made aware of this legislation and a Union strategy be clearly devised and cascaded to all Reps and that any future changes to employment law are acted upon immediately known.
We call for for an immediate response from RMT Head Office.

Vote: passed unanimously


Re. LGB Conference - agreed that Adrian Rowe be the LTRC delegate




A report had been circulated in writing. The meeting agreed to the two proposals contained within this report:

  • Expenditure of £50 per year to facilitate email newsletter to members
  • Twice-monthly training workshops


Jon Abdullah has resigned from the Regional Council Executive. This leaves two vacancies for Executive members. Stefan Melnyk (Central Line West branch) and Adrian Rowe (Bakerloo branch) were duly nominated and elected to these positions.

The post of Regional Council Black & Ethnic Minorities Officer remains vacant.