Minutes of Regional Council meeting, 30 April 2009


  • Bakerloo branch - Malcolm Taylor
  • Camden no.3 branch - Pat O'Brien, Clara Osagiede, Mick Crossey, John Reid
  • Central Line West branch - Vic Parmar, Jon Abdullah, Vaughan Thomas (meeting chair), Stefan Melnyk
  • DLR branch -
  • East Ham branch - Chris Baillie, Andy Izard
  • Finsbury Park branch - Glenroy Watson, Neil Cochrane, John Kelly, Dave Rayfield, Dean O'Hanlon, Bjorn Bradshaw-Murray, Zehra Nalim, Carl Campbell, Mark Walters, Jamie Witchell, Richard Crane, Altough Faik, Phillip Mambaluiya
  • LU Fleet branch - M White, Bill Teale
  • Hammersmith & City branch - Josie Toussaint-Pinnock, Mark Harding
  • Jubilee South & East London Line branch - Chris Carroll
  • LU Engineering branch - Andy Littlechild, Frank Murray, Paul Jackson, Paul O'Brien, Lewis Peacock
  • Morden & Oval branch -
  • Neasden branch - Gerard Vickers
  • Piccadilly & District West branch - Brian Haughian, Olly New, Gwyn Pugh, Tony Crump
  • Retired Members' branch - Ted Richardson
  • Stratford no.1 branch - Unjum Mirza, Janine Booth (meeting secretary), Adrian Finney, Michael Cronin, Peter Heyes
  • TfL no.1 branch - Carol Foster, Paul Rutland, Lindsey Rutland, Linda Wiles
  • Thames Riverboats branch -
  • In attendance - Steve Hedley (Regional Organiser)


Adrian Rowe, Becky Crocker, Damian Franklin, Yvonne Duncan, Brian Munro, Les Sime, Bill O'Dowd, Peter Sherdian, Tracy Fitzpatrick, Jim McDaid, Pat Houlihan, Tony Gandolfi, Frank Curtis, Jared Wood


Proposed by Piccadilly & District West, seconded by Stratford no.1 - agreed as accurate.

3. MATTERS ARISING from the minutes of the previous meeting

Janine Booth proposed that the Regional Council send Peter Heyes as a delegate to RMT LGBT Conference. She also expressed opposition to the Council of Executives' decision to limit delegate numbers to 2 per branch.

Andy Littlechild sought confirmation that the Regional Council would fund the strike committee's room hire etc. Agreed.


Dave Rayfield reported: the last training event was well-attended; the next is on 1 June. Dave and Derek Bishop are available to help branches with their membership lists. Dave invited suggestions for next month's recruitment & retention day.

Several delegates reported on the current cleaners' recruitment week, and proposed that next month's activity target cleaners in depots.

Jon Abdullah reported on LUL possibly altering union presence at new CSAs' induction, to the disadvantage of RMT. We need a strategy should this go ahead.

Dave replied. There will be a further recruitment week for our region because of Organising Unit staff sickness during this one.


Olly New reported on:

  • Job cuts elsewhere in rail industry
  • Cleaners, including industrial action ballot against Eurostar's introduction of fingerprinting machine
  • TubeLines
  • DLR industrial action ballot
  • LUL/TfL dispute - legal challenge; updating of membership records; pay talks; personal letter next week
  • Victoria line strike
  • Piccadilly line dispute success
  • Willesden Green strike
  • LTRC resolution on employment law changes - letter has been sent to branches
  • LTRC resolution on track workers' charter - meeting will be covened to discuss further
  • LTRC resolution on cleaners - RMT is working on a political campaign
  • RMT lobby of Parliament, 5 May
  • ETUC demonstration and conference, 15-16 May
  • Euro elections - anti-fascist campaigning; No2EU

Questions/points raised in discussion:

  • Annual leave agreement on Metronet. Reply - will discuss after meeting.
  • LUL machinery of negotiation - where are we with getting the additional reps we should be entitled to? Reply - LUL is refusing to negotiate on this; we will have to make them listen.
  • LUL/TfL dispute - we should get on with re-ballot; if further legal challenge, should not reballot but should set dates and fight in court. Reply - should fight in court next time; need 'what if ...?' discussion.
  • LUL/TfL dispute - what is legal advice re different grades taking different types of action? Reply - not got definite legal advice yet, but it is probably legal.
  • Israel Railways threat to sack Arab workers.
  • No2EU campaign is not being run democratically and has too narrow a focus. Reply - No2EU was presented to Executive as finished product, could not be amended; but EU itself is very undemocratic.


Steve Hedley reported on:

  • Victoria Line dispute - some talks already, further talks next Tuesday
  • Willesden Green dispute - to be included in talks next week
  • LUL/TfL dispute - tardy response from some branches re membership lists, better from others; expect further legal challenge; voluntary severance money up from £4k to £10k, because of pressure of our ballot
  • London Overground
  • Cleaners
  • Victimisation of reps

Questions/points from discussion

  • Victoria Line strike - thanks from branch to all those who supported; welcome strong rank-and-file participation
  • Noted that LUL's Traffic Circular 7 stated that staff move on a day-to-day basis - should use this in legal defence
  • Report from strike committee - Bob Crow coming to next meeting on 5 May; need for RMT to make its own legal challenge; decision on action following re-ballot result should be taken after mass meeting; priority now is to maximise Yes vote
  • Pay talks on EDF? Reply - currently arranging dates for talks, also for CBS Outdoor
  • Welcome lots of emails regarding dispute, but there should be more official circulars
  • Unjum Mirza reported on talks with LUL about swine flu:
    • RMT raised issues of PPE eg. face masks, gloves; hygiene issues, especially for cleaners; LUL's lack of a plan for a pandemic
    • The company has said it will only have a health & safety forum meeting about this if level 6 pandemic is declared
    • The company states: "TfL has a well-developed contingency plan that will keep the transport system running", implying that their priority is running the service rather than protecting staff/passenger health
    • Further points from other delegates: LUL has enough vaccine only for 1 in 5 staff; there is a cross-functional health & safety meeting about swine flu next Tuesday
    • Reply: Agree with points; we should use our rights regarding serious and imminent danger
  • Cleaners - RMT should request talks with ISS; if refused, should ballot. Reply - if meeting of all cleaners' reps wants ballot, we will have one, but urge caution because of need to build up organisation.
  • Cleaners - the rate of pay is now due; appalling treatment of RMT reps by ISS
  • LUL/TfL dispute - shock that re-ballot is not up and running by now - branch secretaries should get their act together - are they still paid a salary by RMT? Reply - yes.
  • Membership lists - when they are updated by head office, can the updated lists be sent to branch secretaries? Reply - yes.


(a) ‘Blame the bosses’, submitted by LU Fleet and TfL no.1 branches
The economic crisis threatens the jobs and living standards of billions of people across the world. It is essential that the trade union and labour movement fights to prevent the bosses and governments making workers pay for their crisis.
The Labour government has entirely failed to protect workers. Instead it has shovelled billions to the bankers and the bosses without introducing any element of popular control, let alone genuine social ownership.
We are appalled at the failure of most union leaders to offer any alternative to the politics of wage cuts, job losses, closures and surrender to the bosses’ demands.
The recent unofficial strikes at construction sites, refineries and power stations demonstrate the volatility of the present situation and the political contradictions of the resistance. They were triggered by real questions – the pernicious regime of sub-contracting, attempts to use cheap labour to undermine wages, union-busting and unemployment. During the strikes progressive demands were passed by the Lindsey Oil Refinery strike committee:
• No victimisation of workers taking solidarity action
• All workers in UK to be covered by NAECI Agreement
• Union controlled registering of unemployed and locally skilled union members, with nominating rights as work becomes available
• Government and employer investment in proper training/apprenticeships for new generation of construction workers – fight for a future for young people
• All immigrant labour to be unionised
• Trade Union assistance for immigration workers – including interpreters – and access to Trade Union advice – to promote active integrated Trade Union Members
• Build links with construction trade unions on the continent
• Re-instatement of victimised worker John McKewan
But at the same time the slogan “British Jobs for British Workers” appeared on the picket lines everywhere. This slogan did not fall from the sky: it reflects the speech by Gordon Brown at the 2007 Labour conference and the nationalist camapign waged by some Unite leaders since the Peugeot “campaign” in 2006.
This slogan has no place in the workers’ movement and means division at a time when workers desperately needs unity. It opens the door to the racists and the fascists. It is the reason the BNP felt confident to appear at picket lines and to support the strikes.
All trade unionists must energetically camapign against “British Jobs for British Workers” and instead demand “Blame the bosses and the bankers, jobs for all, workers should not pay for the crisis”.
We support neither the “British Jobs for British Workers slogan nor the neoliberal free trade policies of Lord Mandelson and Gordon Brown. Mandelson and Brown say they “oppose xenophobia” but their policies encourage racism.
We call for equal pay and conditions for all, no undercutting of national agreements, full union rights, total openess of pay rates, and deductions for accommodation etc. These rights must apply to all workers regardless of nationality.
We opposed anything that divides workers.

TfL no.1 moved. Speeces against (Camden 3 delegate), for (Stratford no.1 delegate); against (LU Engineering delegate). TfL no.1 replied.
Vote: for 10; against 0; abstentions 3. Passed.

(b) Stop Post Office Privatisation, submitted by Stratford no.1 branch, seconded by Finsbury Park branch
This Regional Council deplores the government's plan to privatise the Post Office.
Given our experience in the rail industry, we know that privatisation - whether to a British or foreign private owner - is a disaster for workers and service users.
We resolve to contact our equivalent bodies in the Communication Workers' Union to offer our support to their campaign.

Stratford no.1 moved; Finsbury Park seconded formally; speeches for: Oliver New, Stratford no.1 delegate.
Passed unanimously

(c) Death at G20 Protests, submitted by Stratford no.1 branch, seconded by Camden 3 branch
This branch / Regional Council regrets the violent circumstances surrounding the death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson at the G20 demonstrations. This unfortunate individual, guilty of nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, was known to many of our members at Bank/Monument station. We send our condolences to his friends and family and call for legal action against those individuals responsible for his death.
Stratford no.1 moved. Further speeches in favour from delegates from Finsbury Park, Camden 3, Stratford no.1, Camden 3.
Passed unanimously.
An expected amendment had not been submitted. Its proposals will be discussed at the Executive meeting. By consensus, the meeting agreed to affiliate to the new campaign supported by Ian Tomlinson's family.

(d) Caseworker / Support Worker, submitted by Jubilee South and East London Line branch, seconded by Piccadilly & District West branch
This Regional Council supports the following proposal from Chris Carroll ...
Caseworker/Support Worker - Proposal
When management want to take any action against our members they use the services of Human Resources (HR) and Employee Relations (ER) to prosecute these actions against our members. It then falls to our members, along with their TU reps, to deal with the flow of management actions to the best of their ability, resources and time. A very significant challenge that our members and TU reps face is in managing and analysing the “evidence” that management produce, gathering and analysing information that supports the member and obtaining details of similar cases that help the member or serve as useful comparator(s)/disparator(s) for internal hearings or Employment Tribunal hearings.
There is a reason why companies have invested heavily in HR IT and case management systems. Theses systems give management a significant advantage in the kind of workplace they are seeking to create and in prosecuting their actions against members and reps alike. The Companies provide their management with the assistance of well resourced and often bespoke operations to assist them against our members. This proposal seeks to provide the trade union and its members and reps with support that will help them deal with these companies, their management, these HR/ER departments and their internal and external legal advisors.
The current state of affairs puts our trade union, its members and reps at a great disadvantage.
The members and reps face even greater difficulties defending/advocating their position because of the greater strain they are facing just managing the case, its associated evidence/paperwork and verifying the reliability of the evidence available. These difficulties are often compounded by changes in reps, (for a multitude of reasons), and the very different levels of training, expertise and experience amongst the rep population.
At the same time the trade union is not building a central computerised database of cases that will provide a valuable resource for training, comparators/disparators and identifying management trends and tactics against our members.
Despite the disparity in resources between the trade union and these companies it is possible to redress this power imbalance, efficiently, and economically. Thereby, the trade union will be able to provide our members and reps with a support service that will significantly improve the help and support available to members and reps; helping member and rep alike to achieve the best outcome possible for our individual members when they are personally under attack from management.
The Proposal:
In the short term I suggest that the RMT funds a six month trial of the following Caseworker/Support Worker initiative reporting to the London Regional Organiser or General Secretary (or as deemed appropriate). This trial should be implemented by one person fulfilling the proposed role. If necessary, in order to minimise cost to the trade union the role should be preformed on a part time basis of 25 hours per week (pro rata to the Membership Officer pay grade).
The initiative should be continuously evaluated against benchmarks established at the outset of the trial.
Other than the part time six month salary there are no other costs involved in this initiative. No office space is required, no additional workspace, computer facilities, training or other expenses are required for the trial.
The role:
The role of the Caseworker/Support Worker will be to receive from the members or reps copies of the paperwork they are receiving in connection with the case they are dealing with in the workplace. This will include: evidence, disciplinary packs and interviews. In addition, the Support Worker will receive evidence that the member/rep has gathered. This will include notes, memos, witness statements, print outs, emails, documents gathered in person or through other appropriate means; for example, the Data Protection Act (DPA), Medical Records Act, Freedom of Information Act (FOI).
The Caseworker/Support Worker will be expected to provide advice and guidance on how to properly obtain evidence and personal data in the workplace; including use of the DPA and FOI application process
The Caseworker/Support Worker will scan and index the documentation received and attach these electronic files to a Case Detail database created for each member. These Case Details will record the member’s details, the rep’s details and updated actions as the case progresses. Linked to each Case Detail file will be the scanned and indexed information.
The Caseworker/Support Worker will be expected to provide filtered data from the database as requested. The Caseworker/Support Worker will also be expected to continuously seek to develop the functionality and usefulness of the database for the trade union’s members, reps, officers and wider industrial activities.
The Caseworker/Support Worker will be expected to provide training and information sessions to members, representatives and branches on a regular basis with regard to employment rights, employment tribunal outcomes and employer actions against members.
The Benefit:
The benefits will be as follows:
(i) Members and reps will have a central and indexed electronic store of the information that they have received or uncovered with regard to their particular case.
(ii) This electronic store will make it easier for members and reps to discuss and circulate the case between themselves and with other relevant members or reps.
(iii) If the case is escalated to senior reps/officers this electronic store will enable the higher level reps to much more easily and quickly acquaint themselves with the facts of the case and latest information; and the kind of evidence that has been relied upon by management, members and past reps.
(iv) If the member has to pursue an Employment Tribunal claim the electronic store of indexed evidence will aid the member in their L1/L2 application. In turn the RMT’s solicitors when assessing the merits of the L1/L2 application will have a more complete history of the case. Even if the member is unsuccessful in his/her L1/L2 application, for whatever reason, the member will be able to more easily pursue their claim with or without a non-RMT solicitor if they wish to do so.
(v) As this will be an electronic database the union will be able to filter the information gathered to provide empirical evidence of the number and type of HR actions that companies are pursuing against our members.
(vi) An electronic database of this kind will provide a central store of cases and comparators/disparators that will enable members and reps in future cases to quickly provide proof of discriminatory or disparate treatment by the company in relation to a member (or members) in comparison with previous management actions affecting other members of staff.
(vii) The trade union will have a source of verifiable information with regard to particular cases and general issues that will aid and support industrial actions and strategy.
(viii) Members and representatives will have a source of support, advice and training that better equips them to prepare for internal and external hearings, successfully gather evidence and efficiently and with minimal effort meet the demands of other professionals (eg solicitors) and trade unions colleagues who become involved in the specific case.
The Feasibility:
This proposal is very feasible and cost effective. I already provide this kind of support.
(i) I have adapted a Microsoft ACCESS 2007 database for use as described above.
(ii) I already receive documentation from members and reps, scan it, index it and distribute it as required.
(iii) It is already possible for me to provide this service in an efficient and timely manner from my home computer with my fairly efficient multi-feed automatic document feeder scanner. The RMT has copiers that scan documents even more quickly and efficiently. This scanning function is already installed and online pending only suitable staff training.
(iii) The service I have provided has proved of critical usefulness in supporting reps and members at internal hearings and in successfully pursuing employment tribunal cases.
(iv) As this database develops and more cases are entered the trade union will have a significant and accessible resource to identify HR trends against our members, to identify training needs and spread good practice and experience amongst reps. This database will efficiently provide comparator/disparator evidence for members and reps to illustrate unfair and/or discriminatory and/or inconsistent actions by management against members.
The Future:
Apparently when the current “Membership” software was purchased there was an option to purchase “Case Management” software as part of the overall package. At the time this was not taken up.
If the six month trial of this Case Management/Support Worker position is supported then there will be an opportunity to evaluate the trial and take a view on its success, role expansion and its wider implementation within the current Membership function or elsewhere. There are many ways this service and database can be developed once established. Including, establishing the database in the long term as a online service that members (and reps) can securely access and use as an advice resource, as secure documentation storage and update personally.

Jubilee South & East London Line branch moved. Piccadilly & District West branch seconded. Further speeches in favour from delegates from Finsbury Park, TfL no.1, Hammersmith & City, LU Engineering, LU Engineering, Piccadilly & District West branches.
Points were raised regarding: data protection issues; no requirement for rule change; job would be open to applications.
Jubilee South & East London Line branch replied
Passed unanimously.

(e) Branch membership lists, submitted by Regional Council Executive
This Regional Council expects Branch Secretaries to attend head office at least bi-monthly with an up-to-date membership list for their branch.
Janine Booth moved on behalf of the Regional Council Executive
Contributions from delegates from: TfL no.1, Hammersmith & City, Finsbury Park, East Ham, TfL no.1, Hammersmith & City, Piccadilly & District West, Finsbury Park branches. Point of clarification from Regional Organiser. Janine Booth replied.
Passed with one abstention.


(f) Defend Redeployment Rights in TubeLines, submitted by LU Fleet branch, seconded by LU Engineering branch
The meeting agreed that this was a bona fide emergency.
Following the reorganisation of admin and HR roles in TubeLines operations some of our members were displaced to the redeployment pool.
As a consequence of the reorganisation one of the HR assistant posts has remained vacant despite three attempts to fill it internally.
TubeLines has now advertised the vacancy externally despite the fact that there are people in the redeployment pool that are suitable for the post.
This move by TubeLines has very serious implications for all our members in that staff with the Deputy PM's Pledge can be displaced to the redeployment pool and replaced with new staff without the protection of the Pledge.
TubeLines has a duty under the code of practice to find a suitable vacancy within their grade for the displaced staff. If the company succeeds in filling this vacancy externally then the number of suitable posts decreases for those in the redeployment pool.
This branch feels that TubeLines are breaking the principal of the code of practice, and intend to leave members with the pledge languishing in the redeployment pool without a job until they get fed up and leave and replacing them with new unprotected staff. Although the numbers involved at the moment are small it sets a precedent which TubeLines will no doubt exploit as it makes future cuts as the squeeze on its PPP contract intensifies.
This resolution calls on the council of executives to declare a dispute with TubeLines and ballot for industrial action.

LU Fleet branch moved; LU Engineering branch seconded.
Vote: passed unanimously

(g) Where is our RMT Challenge to LUL/TfL?, submitted by TfL no.1 branch, seconded by LU Engineering branch
The meeting agreed that this was a bona fide emergency.
The LTRC requests that a RMT legal challenge is sought ASAP.
It is obvious that LUL lied to us in the run up to the Metronet TUPE on the 7th December when they told us there were no economic changes planned, despite the overwhelming planning behind the Operational Cost Review.
Furthermore, the consultation on redundancies has been shown to be a sham by concurrent talks with us whilst simultaneously briefing those involved. Whilst our branch/LTRC accepts the law is not written for us, it is written and they do not appear to have followed the law. We therefore request that we get someone of the stature of John Hendy to fight this battle. Information should also be accessed through the Freedom of Information Act to help assist our case.
We believe the European Acquired Rights Act has been contravened by LUL in their treatment of Metronet employees under the OCP.
TUPE-our original consultation. LU said that they did not have the details of the outcome of the OCR at the time they were talking to us. We have evidence that the managers were asked not to talk about it in the TUPE briefings, and were planning the reductions and re-organisation as the TUPE progressed. The TUPE actually enabled the reductions to be made, so we believe that they had information in connection with TUPE that they concealed or did not release to us.
TfL TUPE and OCR/OP. inexorably linked now, with redundancies as result. They are trying to avoid the redundancy notices and consultation period by transferring staff in small groups of less than twenty by directorate, although all the staff, of which there are more than twenty altogether are from the same undertaking.
There is an identifiable group of permanent staff specifically engaged in Metronet work, with special arrangements for those staff, as we heard yesterday. They therefore have a quite legitimate right to retain their Company Council as it is a company still and will continue to be one, and the employees are supplied by LU under the Human Resources Agreement.
How can consultation be meaningful if the staff were sent letters telling them their status, mapped hybrid or at risk, before any meeting or information had been given to their reps. The OCP was imposed from the outset? No Criteria for selection was available to the reps and has not been supplied in any form.
Jobs for senior managers in IM were being advertised externally before the "consultation" was a week old and while the permanent staff were told they would be displaced.
Several H&S regulations have been flouted, notably The SRSC regulations and in Sean Laudons view the Act itself.
The OCP process itself states that all the paperwork must be provided prior to the start date of the time frame and that an independent body must also review the business decisions made as the monies involved come from the public purse.
We are all well aware that a legal opinion will not save jobs alone, but we need to explore every avenue and use all the ammunition we can to help our members.

TfL no.1 moved; LU Engeering seconded; Regional Organiser also spoke in favour.
TfL no.1 replied.
Passed unanimously

(h) Rank and file members be heard, submitted by TfL no.1 branch, seconded by LU Engineering branch.
The meeting agreed that this was a bona fide emergency.
This LTRC request the EC hear what the rank and file members of the LTRC have to say before their decision is made as to further actions required in regard to the result of the ballot.
We are asking for the following process:
1) Result of ballot
2) Mass meeting held that evening
3) EC attends as necessary to hear rank and file members
4) Decision then made by EC the following day

TfL no.1 branch moved; LU Engineering branch seconded. Oliver New spoke. Finsbury Park branch spoke for. TfL no.1 branch replied.
Passed unanimously.

(i) Revised pay offer, submitted by Neasden branch, seconded by LU Engineering branch.
The meeting agreed that this was a bona fide emergency.
The Regional Council notes that LUL have now increased their 5-year pay offer to include increases of RPI plus 0.5% in years 2-5.
This offer remains entirely unacceptbale in terms of both pay and the continued TfL redundance process and withdrawal from no redundancy agreements that previously applied to all members.
The Regional Council calls on the Council of Executives to proceed with a re-ballot of LUL/TfL members as soon as possible. The Regional Council also calls on the Council of Executives to organise a ballot with the shortest practicable time span in order to allow for strike action to be taken as soon as possible.

Moved formally.
Passed unanimously.

(j) Re-instate Rob Williams, submitted by Neasden branch, seconded by LU Engineering branch.
The meeting agreed that this was a bona fide emergency.
This Regional Council will write in solidarity to Rob Williams, national officer of the National Shop Stewards' Network, who has been sacked for his trade union activities.
Moved formally.
Passed unanimously.


From Ted Richardson re. pensioners' event. Agreed to fund Ted's attendance: £150.

From RMT re London Midland dispute. Agreed to donate £200 towards strike hardship payments.


From Mark Harding re pensions. Mark is standing for the Pensions Consultative Committee and needs a running mate.


There were no objections to the report.