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  • Writer's pictureFinn Brennan ASLEF Distri

TfL management ramp up plans to punish the sick.

As TfL management push to change employment policies and working agreements in a drive to cut costs, one of their first targets is the Attendance at Work (AAW) procedure.

Despite claims about wanting to “support” staff and make things “fairer”, presentations given to the trade unions make it very clear that their plan is for a far harsher, discipline based policy, that will punish the sick and force those unlucky enough to suffer poor health into unemployment.

Instead of a maximum length warning of 26 weeks under the current procedure, all warnings would be for 52 weeks, with no discounted items. There would be no right of appeal at Stage 1. No matter how good your previous attendance was, or what the illness you suffered was, you will get a 52 week warning that you are not allowed to appeal.

If you have further sickness for any reason, another warning and then a final warning would be given and you would then be dismissed. All items would count. Catching Covid or breaking your leg would be a disciplinary issue that would lead to a warning.

Instead of supporting staff, these proposals are designed to create a climate of fear for front line staff. People who are too ill to safely be at work would be forced to come in by the threat of disciplinary action.

At the meeting with management, ASLEF reps pointed out that issues with the current procedure were due to management failures to operate it properly. We will not accept any new policy being imposed without agreement.

As more details of their plans emerge in the coming weeks we will share them with members and reps and discuss how and when we will respond.

Instead of gratitude to staff for their work during the pandemic, the crises it caused in TfL finances is being used as an excuse to undermine working conditions and pensions.

ASLEF members have already returned a huge mandate to take action. We hope other unions will take a similar stand so that we can stand together to protect the decent jobs and conditions we have worked so hard to achieve.

Finn Brennan

ASLEF District Organiser

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