Disabled people and members

Discrimination against disabled workers continues, and RMT is organising to oppose it

RMT Disabled Members’ Advisory Committee And Conference

from General Secretary Bob Crow

In my Circular No. NP/062/11, 4th April 2011, I sought to establish the views of Branches as to whether an advisory committee and/or conference be established for our member with disabilities. The five responses received were placed before the Council of Executives who noted and adopted the following recommendation:-

London Underground Job Cuts Deepen Inequalities

RMT General Grades Committee decision:

We note the report on the equality strand of the review of London Underground’s OSP (job cuts). We endorse the detailed critique of the job cuts’ impact on equalities, which can be found on file. This critique highlights that London Underground:

  • calculates station staffing levels without considering the needs of equality groups
  • uses methods for collecting information, categorising passenger journeys and assessing data which are deeply flawed and fail to account for equality issues

LU Organisational Strategic Plan (OSP) Equality Review

Report to RMT stations representatives from Janine Booth

Summary:

  • London Underground does not consider the needs of equalities groups when calculating its station staffing levels.
  • LU's methods for collecting information, categorising passenger journeys and assessing data are deeply flawed and fail to account for equality issues.
  • LU did not carry out an adequate Equality Impact Assessment before going ahead with the OSP, despite being obliged by law to do so. The revisions it has made to the EqIA since then are minor and wholly inadequate.

London Underground Pay-Regional Council 26th May

The following resolution submitted by East Ham branch was carried at the Regional Council meeting on May 26th.

This Regional Council already has policy that RMT should name a figure that the union aspires to achieve for this year’s pay award. We now resolve that this figure should be 6.5% (ie. February RPI+1%) or £2,500 whichever is higher. We feel that this would give greater benefit to the low paid grades whilst still being reasonable for the higher paid Grades.

RMT Objects as London Underground Claims Staff Cuts Benefit Elderly, Disabled and Other Passengers

As a public body, London Underground has to carry out an assessment of the impact of any new policy on various equality issues. The attached file is LU's Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) for its current OSP (policy of cutting 800 mainly-stations jobs). Below is the response to this document that I have written on behalf of RMT. You will see from this that LU's EQIA falls woefully short, and ignores key equality issues.

'Transport For All' Concerned About Effect of LUL Job Losses On Elderly Passengers And Those With Disabilities

Transport for All, a disability and elderly persons charity has wriiten a letter to the Evening Standard detailing their concerns about front line job losses at London Underground. Lianna Etkind, Campaign and Outreach Co-ordinator of the charity writes "We are extremely concerned about the effect of these cuts on elderly and disabled Londoners.'

Disabled Groups Oppose London Underground Job Cuts

In April, RMT's London Transport Regional Council wrote to disabled people's organisations as part of our 'SOS: Staff Our Stations' campaign, alerting them to London Underground's planned job cuts and the difficulties that these will cause to disabled passengers. You can read our letter here. Several organisations representing disabled people have now sent the following letter to Mayor Boris Johnson, opposing the job cuts.

Dear Mr Johnson,

Letter to disabled people's organisations: Staff Our Stations!

I have written to over 50 disabled people's organisations in and around London about London Underground's proposed job cuts. Read the letter below ...

I am writing on behalf of the RMT trade union to alert you to London Underground’s plan to cut 800 station staff posts and to severely reduce its ticket office opening hours. I believe that this move will seriously reduce the service that London Underground offers its passengers, and will have a particularly adverse effect on disabled passengers.

The Law on Disability Discrimination

Disabled workersIntroduction

1 This is the second in a series of five brief guides to discrimination in employment. They are intended as introductory handouts for trade union representatives and people in the workplace. Their aim is to set out the main provisions which protect and enhance the equal treatment of men and women at work. Since discrimination law has become increasingly complex, the particular circumstances of a case may have a significant impact on the prospects of success and these Guides are not a substitute for legal advice except in the clearest of cases.

The Disability Discrimination Act - a vital piece of legislation

Disabled workersLike most reps and activists in the union I have not had to deal with the Disability and Discrimination Act (DDA) in any great detail. I am aware of the headline issues: the DDA exists; it is a bad thing if an employer discriminates against someone who is disabled; and an employer must carry out a thing called "reasonable adjustments" for existing staff and potential recruits. But that was the extent of my knowledge.