On Friday while I was off Steve “Not Brown” Griffiths emailed us an update on Night Tube and it’s worth noting a few points.
“We have listened to your trade union representatives who have been very clear that your work-life balance is a priority. It is for this reason that we have recruited part-time staff on stations and are doing the same in train operations as it minimises the impact of Night Tube on existing employees”
Night Tube was initially announced back in November 2013, two years and two strikes to come to this decision can hardly be described as effective management from a bunch whose salaries make ours look like "chickenfeed".
“This recruitment will mean that our existing train operators will not have to work Night Tube shifts, unless they choose to do so. It also does not impact on our existing agreements with the unions.”
Now maybe I've misunderstood or maybe its poorly worded but that seems to suggest existing TOps who choose to work Night Tube don't necessarily have to become part-timers. The existing agreement is that we run trains overnight on three “special events” a year which LU want to expand to seven so to say this doesn’t impact on existing agreements is utter nonsense.
“Since October 2014 we have held an extensive number of meetings with your trade unions and also involved the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS). We believe that we have addressed all the points that have been raised and exhausted all reasonable negotiations.”
Despite the unions repeatedly offering to have “a period of concentrated discussions on the outstanding issues” (from Our Man Finn’s Facebook page) there haven’t been any meetings since November and the recruitment of part time drivers has gone ahead without any consultation.
Griffiths then goes onto the pay deal which includes “a £500 consolidated flat rate increase to recognise our transformation to a 24-hour passenger service operation – Night Tube” and a “£500 non-consolidated launch payment to all staff on Night Tube lines”. Obviously accepting this pay offer would be accepting Night Tube, we still don’t have any guarantee that the recruitment of part timers will deliver the 180 extra TOps needed so we certainly aren’t about to agree to anything that includes Night Tube.
ASLEF’s Executive Committee will meet today with our reps recommending further strike action which BBC claims will be on 27th January, 15th and 17th February. ASLEF aren’t opposed to Night Tube or part-time TOps but they aren’t going to accept anything without negotiation. As Our Man Finn says on his Facebook page "we want to make sure that working conditions for both existing and new staff are protected" which includes all those potential part-time TOps.