The London Underground Company Council is the highest level of the machinery of negotiation where officials and senior representatives from all four recognised trade unions meet with LU directors to discuss issues that affect staff across the combine or that have been referred up from other parts of the machinery.
Below is a report on some of the issues discussed at the meeting on Thursday October 10th.
Electronic pay slips.
Since management first announced that they planned to move to electronic payslips ASLEF have argued that everyone should have the option to retain paper payslips if they chose to. We pointed out that staff do not all have access to computers and printers and that not everyone is comfortable using technology.
Management initially acknowledged our concerns and said that e-pay slips would not be introduced until they had been dealt with. Specifically, they agreed to arrange support at local level involving trade union learning reps to identify and help those who might have difficulties.
But despite this commitment, they have simply withdrawn paper pay slips and say that they cannot now produce them! There is a legal right to receive a pay slip and management have a duty to support anyone who has difficulty accessing theirs. Please let your local ASLEF rep know of any issues so that we can pursue them.
Once again in a rush to save money, senior management are ignoring the needs of staff and the commitments that the Company has made.
TfL recognition scheme.
Management informed us that they intend to change the current employee recognition “Thanks to you” scheme by getting rid of the silver and gold awards and having a single tier award of just £30. They say the budget remains unchanged, but more people will receive the new, smaller award!
ASLEFs view is that decent pay and conditions, being listened to and respected at work and delivering a public service is what motivates staff, not the prospect of an occasional £30 quid voucher!
ASLEF pointed out that that one days special leave can result in either a 1/18th, 1/20th , or 1/22nd deduction from salary due to a random calculation in SAP.
We argued that for a five shift 35-hour week member of staff the deduction should be the same for everyone and not more than one day’s pay
Management said that whilst they agreed in principle, they need to work through how it would affect other parts of the organisation along with any SAP issues and will update us.
Quality and Accuracy of Notice to Attend LDI’s.
ASLEF said that this had been raised from the Trains Council where they had a number of issues with the templates mangers were using for discipline. Part of the problem was they were using TFL templates and not LU specific ones which resulted in staff not being advised of the actual breach under the AAW, possible sanctions and incorrect advice on representation. We had tried to resolve this at Trains Council but as it affected all grades it has had to come here.
Management said that they were working to get more accurate templates uploaded on to the intranet along with a system of links to ensure managers are directed to correct site, not TFL. We asked that they share templates with the unions to ensure they are compliant with agreements prior to posting.
ASLEF objected to staff being required to do 60 hours study in own time over 3 to 6 months in order to apply for Service Control. We believe this could be more difficult for operational staff than some other grades as desk-based staff have easier access to computers. We reminded them promotional issues were part of the last pay deal.
Management’s position was that they didn’t believe it was excessive as it works out as 2.5 hours per week. The point was made that care givers could be put off applying and it would be easier to do if a person without other commitments.
We also reminded them that within the last twelve months, we had raised at this committee, concerns about the lack of diversity in Service Control. We did not believe that this was helping. Management said they will look again at this along with any possible diversity issues.
Sickness on Annual Leave.
ASLEF pointed out that a seven-day self cert is as equally valid legally as a doctor’s note, yet the company are saying they won’t accept them for the purpose of claiming back annual leave. We believe this was potentially illegal.
Management said in effect there are two schemes, statutory sick pay and LU sick pay scheme which sits over and above the statutory requirement. As this is a company contractual scheme, staff need to abide by company rules. It was pointed out again that a GP can refuse to give a fit note for the first seven days and can’t back date them.
ASLEF said that online services can provide private certificates which the company would have to reimburse if they are insisting on them. We think this policy is counterproductive and not in the interests of the business. We will be considering the legal position on this issue.
Tfl Social Media feeds.
ASLEF complained again about the messages put out during disruptions, the latest one was blaming cancellations on the Metropolitan and C&H lines on the absence of T/Ops when it was down to poor delivery of implementation training for the drivers for the upgrades. The message always seems to be the same, always blame the bloody train drivers! We told management they need to take action to get this stopped as it puts frontline staff at risk.
Management agreed that any messages that seemed to blame staff were inappropriate and should be stopped. ASLEF will monitor this closely to see if anything changes !
ASLEF asked if management have a plan in place to reduce LU’s carbon footprint? Management confirmed that a programme is in place and a presentation will be given at a future meeting.
TSSA said that they had heard rumours about proposed changes in Revenue Control.
Management said there would be no reduction in posts and nothing is yet being announced.
The implication is that changes will be coming soon. Given that fare evasion costs TfL £116 million per year and leads to assaults on staff, ASLEF strongly supports TSSA in believing that we need much greater resources and support for revenue control staff.