And so we stumble towards the strike like a drunken wildebeest, LUL aren’t going to compromise on their plans, the unions aren’t going to swallow the loss of 953 jobs along with loads of staff being downgraded and facing wage cuts in three years. LUL and Boris say that the unions should call off the strikes and enter into discussions but obviously it would have helped had management talked to the unions before announcing their big plans rather than presenting them without any prior consultation.
The ticket offices will go, that is inevitable and I can’t really argue for their survival, they are nice to have but no longer essential. Perhaps there should be more “travel centres” than the six proposed, certainly you could argue that Waterloo and London Bridge deserve something, possibly even some of the big West End stations like Oxford Circus but Oyster was brought in for precisely this reason, to get passengers doing ticketing for themselves and make ticket offices redundant.
You could argue that stations without supervisors could be a problem but with the savings in wages LUL will be making I can’t see them backing down on that one, not until there’s a major incident at somewhere like THB and some poor CSA with six months on the job is totally unable to cope with the situation while the Super is stuck at BUH or wherever.
I was talking to a TOp who was part of the Pool that joined the Central Line for the Olympics then was shunted off to the Northern as soon as it was all over and prior to her training in 2012 she spent five years on stations. She’d wanted to get promotion on the stations but in those five years there wasn’t a single advert for Station Supervisor, Multi-Functional or Control Room Assistant, in the end she applied for TOp simply because she’d given up hope of every moving off the gatelines.
Now during those five years there must have been plenty of SSs, SAMFs and SACRs leave so I’m guessing that those vacancies weren’t being filled and the jobs covered by overtime, higher grade working or Duty Managers stepping in as Supers. It would be interesting to know how many of those 953 jobs that are being shed are already empty.
Another aspect that sprang to mind was promotion prospects, with the DSM grade disappearing the only way up for CSMs is Area Manager and with 770 less CSMs than SSs there’s far less chance of moving up for CSSs and CSAs. It also seems that CSA1s will be required to take on more responsibilities than previously but they will be getting the same money which certainly doesn’t seem fair.
There are issues to discuss but as the past has demonstrated it will take a strike to get LUL to even consider deviating away from their plan, they want the staff to be “flexible” but lack any flexibility themselves.
Good luck, folks.