Wednesday, 4 March 2015

So after the pointless preamble that wasted a month or so LUL have finally made their opening offer; a 2-year deal with 0.5% this year and RPI next year plus a one-off £500 payment for Night Tube.  That £500 would be divided into two, the first £250 being paid if everything is agreed by June so that things can go smoothly in September and the second £250 paid in January if everything goes according to plan.   Talks will resume today, providing the unions have stopped laughing by then……

Along with that LUL gave us an idea of how they intend to staff Night Tube on the train side.  The depots would be given a choice of either part-time TOps working the extra night shifts or “fixed links” which I assume means adding the extra night shifts into our existing roster.  Now on the face of it seems like a nice offer, we all vote for “part-timers” and get £500 for doing nothing but that ignores a couple of important points.

Firstly the obvious problem with the part-time TOps idea is we only have six months.  It takes 3-4 months to train a TOp but before that LUL has to advertise the position, sort through the applications then have the applicants go through the entry exam, interview, medical and police background check.  Even if we were to agree to the deal today I doubt if there is enough time left to have things ready by September so for an initial period Night Tube would need the existing TOps to fill in.

In addition to that recruiting TOps straight off the street doesn’t work, LUL tried it back when I was on stations.  From the thousands of applicants only a few made it through the selection process and of those most only got as far as the CSA stage with a mere handful making it through to TOp.   That was for full time TOps on full time salaries, I doubt if it would be any more successful attracting part timers on a reduced salary.

So even though LUL has offered us a choice it seems to me that the extra night shifts will in all likelihood end up being included in our roster, making the conditional £500 one-off payment seem a little insulting.  Stay tuned, folks, it should get interesting.


  1. And surely there's a bar on recruitment into station posts given the threat of redundancy notice?

    1. They're recruiting CSAs, increasing numbers from 2224 to 2500 and creating an additional 486 "customer facing" CSA2 jobs. The redundancies are all voluntary and as far as I know from the manager and supervisor grades, maybe a few SAMFs and SACRs.

  2. I was also laughing at this so called offer, especially after they sent us that insult telling us about our "rewards" - erm thats called PAY.

    From an Iop point of view it is too late now to have the drivers in place. We have been told that we are getting 8 per month now on the lead up to night running (who knows were on the line though as the tosms don't know either). I cannot see this happening - say the 8 new drivers go to hainault / loughton - at any one time there maybe only a few iops available (with annual leave, Ator and sickness) this means that we will be oversubscribed - these new drivers should have arrived in Jan. I am going to assume that the 8 drivers per month will be spread over the whole line..... but then again with our senior managers who knows.
    The £500 bonus hilarious, you know they are going to steamroll the night running come hell or high water, but it won't be without major issue, stock and track being the biggest concern to a lot of the t/op. I wondering how long it will be before we lose a early shift because of a major stock / track failure - and that WILL cost us our bonus lol.
    They can shove the bonus, and give us a proper wage raise that is reflected on our pensions.

  3. Hi - I'm not a driver so a plea from us interested readers - please explain your jargon and terms. What you cover here is important to those of us outside the industry, or maybe those who left it some time ago, by choice or otherwise. What we outsiders learn here we can share elsewhere, where maybe no-one can go online to immediately check, or maybe unable to translate. Keep going - with fibbers like Boris and comedians like TfL management around, the rest of us need to know what's really going on.

    have to stay anonymous on this one as I spent a lot of sometimes high profile times in the transport industries and the last thing I need is former managers on my case again (oh yes they will...)

    1. TOps - train operators, what most people call train drivers
      IOps – instructor operators, TOps who do training
      CSA – Customer Service Assistant, entry level station staff
      SAMF – Station Assistant Multi Functional, ticket office staff
      SACR – Station Assistant Control Room, responsible for monitoring CCTv and doing PAs at larger stations

      Anything else, just ask