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  • Writer's pictureFinn Brennan ASLEF Distri

Your conditions at work and your income in retirement are at risk. Vote Yes to protect them.

  • Booking on before 04.45 in the morning and working after 01.30 for no extra payments.

  • Booking on and off at remote locations in your own time making your working day longer.

  • Drastically reduce the number of spare turns and make those that remain "flexible" so they can change your start and finish time at short notice.

These are just some of the changes that management want to make as part of "trains modernisation" as they push for big cuts in the number of drivers employed. They want to replace all of the current agreements covering how drivers work. Their aim is that your time in the cab is increased by 25%!

You would be working harder, for longer, for less reward.

ASLEF have always said that we are prepared to negotiate on change. But change has to be about benefits to staff, not just cost cutting for management.

Unless we have a strong mandate for action, management will push through new rosters and duties later this year, getting rid of fixed links, night turns and spare duties.

That is why this week ASLEF members across London Underground will start to receive ballot papers in our dispute about managements failure to agree that any changes to pensions and working conditions must come by agreement.

We had succesfull ballots last year but we now have to re-ballot to comply with the law.

The stakes this year are even higher. By the end of this month, TfL have to agree proposals for changes to your pension scheme with the Government.

The most likely option for change is a move from the current scheme where the pension you get is based on your final salary at retirement, to what is known as Career Average scheme with a later retirement age.

That would make a huge difference to the pension you can expect and the standard of living you will have in retirement.

Sir Brendan Barber who did an independent review of the TfL Pension Scheme, showed in his report that a driver with 20 years service retiring at 60, would be more than £11,500 worse off every year under a Career Average Scheme where the normal retirement age was 65.

Changes wouldn’t just affect new starters. Everyone would have worse benefits for future services. The longer you have left to retirement, the more you would lose.

So the younger you are, the more you will be affected. The difference is huge. Over the length of a retirement of 25 years around £289,000.

It's the difference between having a decent standard of living when you stop work and having to spend your retirement scrimping and saving to get by.

Any ballot paper not returned effectively counts as a negative vote. So it is vital that you return your ballot paper and encourage colleagues to do the same.

At stake is what your working life will be like for decades to come and the income you will get in retirement.

We are also balloting for action short of a strike and strike action on separate line over managments attempt to introduce "flash and dash" detrainment; forcing you to take trains into sidings or depots without a physical check to make sure passengers have left the train. ASLEF believes this puts your safety at risk. We are urging members to vote Yes to both questions.

Play your part in protecting your future. Vote Yes and return your ballot paper straight away. Postal disruption mean that it is essential that you send your paper back without delay.

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