Stations' Functional Council News coronavirus crisis update

27th of March 2020

SFC reps met with London Underground management today to push further on the issues affecting all of us since the crisis hit our stations. We’re now operating with a 93% reduction in passenger numbers, dozens of stations closed and with Sunday service now in place, we’ve a surplus of staff, in some areas double the usual requirement. It’s bizarre that with social distancing in place, its not the passengers we need to be distanced from but our own workmates, yet here we are. Having six or more people book on together in a tiny ops room, or staff crammed into already inadequate mess facilities is dangerous and exactly the opposite of social distancing. Yesterday at London Bridge there were 17 simultaneous book ons! With 25% of station staff isolating, LU have been terrified to do anything that impacts what’s left of the service but now accept the problem and realise the obvious way to address it is with shorter shifts.

As of today, AMs have been told that, where staffing levels permit, then local arrangements can be put in place to minimise the number of people who need to be on at any one time. This will alleviate the mess room issue but also recognises the effort made by our members in keeping the job running. Initially this will be an ad hoc arrangement, implemented locally and with the input of your reps, but in time will be supported by rosters from scheduling.

Temporary rosters will only be implemented after consultation and majority approval but given the fact we have 75% cover for a 7% service, there’s no reason not to see a big improvement over current rosters. Should you find your local management team unwilling to play ball and staff continue to be deployed unnecessarily or duties are being duplicated, then make sure your rep is aware and they'll take it up, with the help of SFC if necessary. 

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