(Un)happy birthday, Fit for the Future!

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Wed, 12/04/2017 - 23:01,

Fit for the Future, which "celebrated" its first birthday last week, changed normal working life for every member of station staff.

Before FftF, we'd gotten used to the distinction between "rostered" and "reserve" staff (not including SRT). Now, we are all reserves, with many weeks on our roster down as "Cover Weeks" where we can be sent anywhere on our Cover Group at very short notice.

Every member of staff who has stayed on the stations has had their job role changed drastically. Staff have been forced into roles against their will with little or no training, or money to compensate.

Here's the low down: Station Supervisors are now CSMs, which combines the SS role and the old DSM roles. They are now doing DSM jobs on the same money as they were before. This affects all CSMs, particularly CSM2s who have to run a station at the same time as doing their DSM role. The stress is unbelievable and staff have gone sick with stress, anxiety and depression over it. This is unacceptable. The support has not been there, they’re expected to train on the job. All three CSM grades are doing this role on the same money they were on before FftF; it's not.

It also means that, for the first time ever, operational staff are regularly working "on the shop floor" alongside people who have disciplinary power over them. By devolving disciplinary authority to frontline level, management are hoping to turn Supervisors into police officers and divide the workforce.

Former ticket sellers, SAMFs, have been forced into the role of Station Supervisor, now called "Customer Service Supervisors". Their options were: redundancy; take a pay cut and become a CSA; or move into a Customer Service Supervisor role.

This is a huge responsibility as we can all understand running a station on your own must be hard work. They didn’t want this, they got no pay rise whatsoever, forced into a role that some of them struggle greatly with.

Customer Service Assistants are now SAMFs. It is compulsory that we are trained in the ticket office floating and servicing machines. Handling money. Our manager says that we will all be trained eventually. For what? The same wages? In every other industry, roles that involve cash handling are paid more. With the creation of the CSA2 grade, who are paid £23k (£7k less than CSA1s), but are still forced to do ticket office work, LU has managed to wrangle it so those that do regular cash-handling work are paid *less* than those who don't!

We risk of losing our jobs if we make a mistake because we are doing a job that has been forced upon us. Most CSAs don’t mind a little extra responsibility, but want to be properly trained and fairly compensated for it, as SAMFs were.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. The situation is absurd. On top of these changes to our roles, thousands of staff have been forcibly displaced to new locations, wasting years of local knowledge accumulated at their stations and wrecking work/life balance.

And, at the root of FftF, a huge swathe of job cuts. Nearly 1,000 frontline posts were slashed by LU, meaning fewer people had to do more work. Our strikes clawed back hundreds of jobs, but we're still left facing a cut of between 400-500.

The new grading system is with us now, but we must fight for substantial pay rises to compensate us for the increased workload and responsibility, as well as a fair system for allowing us to work at stations we choose to rather than being treated like pawns. If we stand together, we can win.

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