RMT has secured an agreement covering LU stations compelling local managers to implement revised staffing arrangements, to minimise numbers and reduce duty lengths.
This is a significant gain, and will facilitate safer workplaces by maximising distancing and, hopefully, ensuring fewer of us have to come in each day. The agreement says explicitly that part-time and Night Tube staff must be given equal consideration to full-time staff.
For the text of the agreement, see the RMT website here.
The agreement has been secured after weeks of dithering and downright obstruction from bosses, many of whom insisted on maintaining “business as usual” and demanded all staff come in for all duties and work their full shift.
Not only is there no operational need for this, it puts workers’ health at risk.
Local reps will now work on developing alternative rosters. It’s vital that these include reductions in the number if duties, not just the length of them. This could be achieved by increasing rest days, or by rostering spare turns who only need to come in if strictly required.
Clearly these must be temporary measures - we don’t want any maverick AMs claiming they can run their stations with a reduced staffing complement once the pandemic ends. Knowing LU, it’ll probably be the same manager who are now insisting they need everyone to come in who will claim they can get by on reduced numbers in future! That will need confronting if and when the time comes.
For now, let’s make the most of this agreement by taking the initiative and producing rosters that suit us, rather than waiting for local managers to come up with a back-of-a-fag-packet solution.