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  • ASLEF Trains Council Reps.

Trains Functional Council update: COVID-19

Ad Hoc Trains Functional Council meeting 7 April 2020:

ASLEF Trains Functional Council representatives are meeting with Management on a weekly basis and the following is a summary of our most recent meeting. The emerging theme from Management is to stall and claw back anything they previously gave us. Expect things to get a lot worse before they get any better!

Reasonable Mileage allowance (ASLEF item)

Management has moved the goal posts yet again. They have put in place so many hoops that a train operator needs to jump through it is becoming almost impossible to claim mileage. On top of this they are saying mileage will only apply within the M25 and be capped at £20 a day. They didn’t even have the courtesy to send us their proposed changes prior to distribution. Clear contempt.

We again explained about crowded trains, reduction in TOC services and social distancing. What management are clearly trying to do is distance themselves from our earlier agreements. In conclusion Management asked us for some proposals which have now been sent to them. A further update to follow.

Boxing Day Proposal (ASLEF item)

At the previous Council meeting RMT asked for clarification and some amendments to the Boxing Day agreement. Management formally responded rejecting all the proposed changes. ASLEF’s agreement previously ratified by us has now been fully supported and ratified by RMT. More details to follow. Payments are as follows:

T/Op I/Op

Boxing Day payment (21 hours) 2020 £667.40 £696.15

Using 1% underpinning 2021 £674.07* £703.11*

Using 2% underpinning 2022 £687.55* £717.17*

* These are worse case minimum payments

Requests to defer annual leave (ASLEF item)

At the previous meeting Management said they would take this issue away to seek legal advice. Management still haven’t provided any legal justification for their approach and are saying this should be dealt with locally. They are also saying they are only looking at this as a short-term issue until the end of May. This is now truly becoming farcical. Management are going to provide more detail (farce) prior to the next Council meeting.

Stranded abroad (ASLEF item)

We believe there are only three train operators stranded abroad in lock downs. We gave details of one which may go on for several more weeks and management have taken this away to investigate. Full pay continues to be paid.

Methods of booking on (ASLEF item)

In the absence of so many Train Managers we asked Management to explore other methods for train operators to book on. This was also raised at the Trains Health & Safety Council so it may be addressed there. More to follow.

Night Tube flexibility and train operator on reduced hours working (Management item)

At the previous Council meeting Management proposed that all Night Tube and reduced hours working train operators, on a voluntary basis, be offered a full-time train operator secondment for 12 weeks. We agreed for this with a start date of 5th or 12th April.

Yet again, despite this clear agreement, Management are now saying that as the proposed WTTs are not coming in then this agreement has been placed on hold. We have no choice but to refer this to a higher level of the machinery.

Mutual changeover of duties (ASLEF item)

Following reports that syndicates were being told they could not change duties if train operators were to be allocated nights, Management conceded that ALL depots the Syndicate Compliance and Guidance agreement will be fully complied with. This applies to any and all changeover of duties and not just nights.

Timetables, Duty Schedules and ‘failure to agree’ (ASLEF item)

Following the rejection of new duty schedules, at the majority of train crew depots, this issue now sits at Directors level. There’s no update on this at this time.

Victoria line start up on Sundays

We raised issues over the introduction of early starts on Sunday mornings. Management stated this arose from the lack of Night Tube train operators and they needed to run earlier trains for key workers, in particular NHS staff. There were reports of large crowds of passengers queueing outside stations early in the morning. It is clear this isn’t just an issue for the Victoria line. Staff Side fully understand the need to support NHS staff but reiterated the machinery was there for a reason and we should have been informed prior to any proposed changes. More to follow.

Trauma Support (ASLEF item)

Following a number of PUTs in the last week we asked for measures to be put in place where trauma support can be provided while ensuring social distancing. This might be via a conference call or other media means. Management are taking this away to address immediately.

Miscellaneous (ASLEF items)

We also raised the need for guidance for ‘business as usual’ meetings such as case conferences. The process for Trains Functional Council representatives ‘attending’ Level 1 conference calls. Appeals where train operators have been dismissed and the increase in the homeless using the tube / reducing the ability for social distancing – this being referred to the Trains Health & Safety Council. Further updates to follow on these issues.

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