WTT69 is due to be introduced on the Central Line from Sunday 7th August to allow a test run of Night Tube services on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th with services to commence on Friday 18th. Last week we were told that the new rosters had finally been agreed and that Night Tube was good to go but it seems that not everyone is happy.
Central Line General Manager Chris Taggart thinks there are too many DMIs (Duty Manager’s Instructions) where TOps become “spare” at the end of their shift although as I mentioned earlier the Duty Manager’s instruction is normally “sod off home”. What makes this slightly bizarre is that the agreement was signed off by managers further up the chain than Taggart so effectively he’s arguing with his bosses. There’s going to be yet another meeting over this and we should know what’s going on later this week.
Despite all that it seems that things on the Central Line are positively rosy compared to the Victoria Line where once again DMIs seem to be an issue although in this case it’s not management but the unions who are arguing against them. I am told that at Brixton there is a local agreement that TOps work a maximum of five “rounders” – Brixton to Walthamstow Central and back – on a duty but some duties on the new roster have five rounders with a DMI on the end which means they could be asked to do a sixth rounder.
The situation has got so bad that RMT are balloting for strike action while I’m informed that the local ASLEF reps at Brixton and Seven Sisters have resigned en masse because they don’t feel they are getting enough support for the Functional Reps. One suggestion is that this could go to ACAS with a six week “cooling off” period but that would mean Night Tube on the Victoria Line being delayed until September and whether they’d go ahead with Night Tube on just the Central Line is questionable.
If I've got any of the facts wrong please feel free to correct me, I'm simply reporting what I've heard around the depots (and I only got back off Annual Leave yesterday).
Alfred Hitchfox is doing well, I saw him picking through a box of KFC yesterday