5 March 2014


Our Ref: LUL/14/5

5th March 2014


Dear Colleague,


I write to update you on the situation within LUL following our decision to suspend further industrial action last month.

We are now half way into the seven week period of extensive talks. In this time there was an initial meeting of the JWP to set out a programme for the seven weeks. Then, the week before last, there were two further meetings of the JWP. Last week we met as a main group once and this was followed by smaller working meetings. These are now pencilled in for up until the end of March together with weekly meetings of the main group.

In addition to this our Lead Negotiator has directed a team of equality advisory activists (Glen Watson - BAME, Paul Penny - LGBT, Debbie French - Young Members, Becky Crocker - Women and Janine Booth – Disabled) to assist with Equality Impact issues (EQIA).

A summary of the details discussed in the industrial sub groups is given later in this report, but, by way of overview, it must be said that the more we see the clearer it is that the “fit for the future – stations” is driven purely by a mindset of saving money. The company has gone as far to accept that the existing grading structure can facilitate the introduction of new technology and share its benefits for customers and staff alike. But they are also quite openly saying that the restructuring of the grades and making people reapply for their jobs is necessary to cut salaries and future pension contributions.

For these reasons it has been made clear in communications to members that although we are continuing with the talks we very much remain in a dispute situation and the seven weeks of talks should not be considered as some kind of rest or “cooling off” period.

With regard to the detail of the discussions up to now, a station by station review of ticket offices is being undertaken, but it is doubtful whether the seven weeks will prove sufficient to fully enable this.

However, the two main topics discussed were “Ticketing” and “New Areas and Area Mangers Roles”
On Ticketing, as well as asking LUL to clarify and justify previous and future figures that they have produced in earlier documents we also asked for a full report on the future plans for proposed Ticket Information Centres (TICs). We also strongly attacked the current and future excessive costs associated without outside agencies selling tickets and accused management of misleading the public when we pointed out that their current plans would lead to less resources and ticket machines being available, which would actually lead to less transactions being made than currently is the case, and thus more bigger queues for our staff to deal with in the future.

With regard to future plans for Areas and Area Managers, not one of the Trade Unions had a good thing to say about them. Economically, administratively and logistically they made no sense at all and would actually lead to greater confusion in the day-to-day running of the current 37 Groups which would become 96 Areas under the new plans.

For example, the Northern Line currently has 5 GSMs. This would increase to 16 AMs under the new proposals but there would be no guarantee of any future benefits for our staff and customers. All it will mean is a 320% INCREASE in the number of managers running the current operations. We question how will that benefit anybody?

RMT’s position is that we would rather the current system stay in place than have this new one thrust upon us and we will continue this attack in the coming weeks when we are due to get LUL’s formal response to our strong criticisms. We will also then enter into more detailed discussion on the other proposed new station grades roles and responsibilities and suggested salaries. We will also examine the future role of the SRT.

I hope you will find this report and information useful.

Yours sincerely
Bob Crow
General Secretary

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