LU’s management team still don’t seem to understand exactly what is wrong with their proposals on Night Tube, they don’t seem able to negotiate nor do they seem to understand quite how unions work. Because of their failure to grasp what are pretty simple concepts we are going to have a strike on Thursday although they don’t seem too bothered about it. Yesterday at ACAS they put a new offer on the table but told unions they had until 6:30pm to accept, approve the new timetables and call off the strike. Our reps had to reject the ultimatum as they have to consult with the members, our local reps and the Executive Council before agreeing to any deal so instead they offered to come back to ACAS for further talks today but LU refused.
The deal on the table – well, on the table until 6:30pm yesterday - was 2% this year (good), RPI or 1% whichever is greater for the next two years (not so good) and a £500 “launch bonus” for all staff affected by Night Tube with an additional £2000 for TOps (giraffe’s testicles). It wouldn’t matter how big the one off bonus was, it won’t make working the night shifts on Fridays and Saturdays any more attractive and we’d be working far more weekends that we currently do.
If LU really want Night Tube to happen they are going to have to start talking to our reps, stop thinking in terms of one-off bonuses and start thinking about incentivising those night shifts. That is going to mean working them at a higher rate of pay and/or extra rest days in the week after although for myself there is nothing they could offer that would ever make me want to work them. Night Tube was announced on 24 September last year, for over nine months LU has stuck with Plan A but if they want progress they need a Plan B and they will need the unions’ help to sell it to their employees.
I’ve been doing a little Googling on Steve Griffiths who became our new Chief Operating Officer in May, his first job was as an a Senior Service Engineer at Rolls Royce in 1986 and after nine years there he moved to a similar job at Virgin Atlantic. He worked his way steadily up the ladder becoming Chief Operating Officer in 2009 but after four years his job was “restructured” out of existence. After six months “resting” he found himself a job as a director at Bond Aviation, a company that specialises in helicopter transport and then he came to us. With all that aviation experience he might still have his head in the clouds but if so then the next few weeks are sure to bring him back down to earth with a bump.
Good luck for Thursday everybody, this is not going to be easy.