Friday 10 October 2014

There have been quite a few developments over the last month and as RMT were about to go on strike again I thought I’d share what I’d discovered about the future of station staffing.  Since I started writing they called the strike off but it still gives a bit of background of what the “ticket office closures” actually means.  Here’s how the stations on the eastern end of the Central Line will be affected and this appears to be a fair example of what is happening everywhere.

Apologies if my maths is wrong at any point, that's probably why I never went into the ticket office...

Let’s start with Epping.  Its currently home to five Station Supervisor 3s, one full time and two part time SAMFs in the ticket office with two part time CSAs working the barriers but in future there will only be four CSS2s.  I’ll admit that I’m not sure if the SS3s will automatically become CSS2s, they’re on pretty much the same money so let’s assume they do so they’re staying but the SAMFs and CSAs are being moved.  Theydon Bois, Debden and Buckhurst Hill each have four SS3s who will be replaced by four CSS2s plus Debden will also get two full time CSAs where they currently only have one part timer.  Buckhurst Hill and Debden also have a part time SAMF each.   Adding those to the ones from Epping that’s one SS3, three part time CSAs, one full time and four part time SAMFs who have been evicted.

Loughton is staffed by five SS2s who would have to take a £5k wage cut if they took the CSS2 jobs that will replace them.  Those five stations will be grouped into an “Area” and will be overseen by four mobile CSM3s so for arguments sake let’s say that four of those five SS2s will now step into those jobs.  In addition Loughton will lose a full time and a part time SAMF with 2 part time CSAs.  So we have vacancies for five CSS2s at Loughton and two CSAs at Debden while we have an SS2, an SS3, five part time CSAs, two full time and five part time SAMFs displaced.  Let’s assume that the SS3 from Epping gets one of the CSS2 spots at Loughton and that both the full time SAMFs pass the training for CSS2, that leaves………..

Area Vacancies; 2 CSS2, 2 CSA1
Area Surplus: 1 SS2, 5 part time SAMF, 5 part time CSA.
Area total; -7

Let’s take the stretch from Roding Valley to Barkingside, another Area overseen by four mobile CSM3s and conveniently Hainault has four SS2s ready and waiting to fill those positions.  The other stations will remain pretty much as they are, four SS3s transform into four CSS2s apart from Grange Hill where they currently have five SS3s, one of which is no longer needed.  Hainault also has a part time SS2, a part time SAMF, three full time and a part time CSAs all of which will be replaced by five CSS2s and three part time CSAs.  Move the spare SS3 one stop to a CSS2 at Hainault and we have....

Area Vacancies: 4 CSS2, 2 part time CSA1
Area Surplus: 1 part time SS2, 1 part time SAMF, 3 CSA
Area Total: +1

Newbury Park has four SS3s that will be replaced by CSS2s with five CSAs and a part time CSA who will all be staying but we can add a full time and a part time SAMF to the list of the homeless.  Gants Hill, Redbridge and Wanstead are Section 12s, combined they are home to 14 full time and one part time SS2s which in future will be reduced to 13 full time and three part time CSS1s.  There will be four extra CSA place in addition to the existing staff but with four full time and four part time SAMFs leaving.  The Area will have four CSM3s one of which might be the left over SS2.

Area Vacancies: 3 CSM3, 2 part time CSS1, 4 CSA1
Area Surplus: 1 SAMF, 1 part time SAMF
Area Total: +7

The next Area is Woodford to Leyton, currently we have 8 SS2s, 12 SS3s, 10 full time and 2 part time SAMFs with 25 CSAs.  In future you’ll have four mobile CSM3s, 21 CSS2s with 12 full time and four part time CSAs. 

Area Vacancies; 4 part time CSAs. 
Area Surplus; 4 SS2s, 1 SAMFs, 2 part time SAMFs, 13 CSAs.
Area Total: -16

Stratford is a Jubilee Line station and its staffing level will remain mostly unchanged apart from losing 14 full time and 2 part time SAMFs so there’s no room at the inn for any of our Central Line refugees.

Mile End and Bethnal Green have 10 full time and one part time SS2s, 9 full time and 2 part time SAMFs, 9 full time and one part time CSAs.  That will become 9 CSM2s, two part time CSS1s, 13 full time and 2 part time CSA1s with 2 part time CSA2, the new “customer facing” grade.

Area Vacancies; 1 part time CSS1s, 4 CSA1, 1 part time CSA1, 2 part time CSA2,
Area Surplus; 1 SS2, 9 SAMFs, 2 part time SAMFs
Area Total: -4

Along with the rostered staff who work a specific station there is also the Group Reserves who cover holidays, training and sickness, that currently stands at 37 SS2s, 12 full time and 2 part time SAMFs, 21 full time and 1 part time CSAs.  Under future arrangements that will now be 3 CSM2s, 4 CSM3s, 5 CSS1s, 26 CSS2s and 22 CSA1s.

Reserve vacancies: 14 CSS2s, 1 CSA1s.
Reserve surplus: 25 SS2s, 2 part time SAMFs, 1 part time CSAs.
Reserve total -13

So when we put all the vacancies and surpluses together, be a little optimistic and saying that the SAMFs all qualify as CSS2s then this is what we end up with the following...

Total Vacancies: 9 CSS2, 3 part time CSA1, 2 part time CSA2,
Total surplus; 28 SS2s, 13 part time SAMF, 5 CSAs
Total -32

Obviously things aren’t going to be as simple or straightforward as I've suggested, not all the SAMFs are going to walk into CSS2 positions, we don’t know how many of the existing position are currently vacant or how many staff have taken redundancy packages but it gives us an idea of just how much shuffling around there’s going to be.  LU claims that bringing the SAMFs out of their ticket offices will mean more staff to help passengers and in this case there are 38 full time and 15 part time SAMF positions that would give us an extra 21 staff on the stations despite losing 32 staff but 35 of those new jobs are management grades who will probably spend more time in an office dealing with admin that helping with customer service.

What is noticeable is the large number of SS2s no longer required. all on £47k, unlikely to want to downgrade and take a pay cut in order to fill the CSS2 posts.  Apart from that we’re left with a lot of part timers with nowhere to go, possibly some of them can go full time but from my own experience most people go part time for a reason and if they can’t take up a full time position then they’re pretty much screwed.

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