Diluting Minimum Staffing

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Tue, 15/01/2008 - 20:18,

There has been a sudden and myseterious change to Section 4.2 of every Section 12 station's Emergency Plan. That's the clause that tells you your minimum staffing numbers, below which you can not open the station.

It used to specify how many of each grade eg. 1 Supervisor, 1 Station Assistant (Control Rooms), 3 CSAs. Now - with the exception of Supervisors, who have to be there by law - the specific grades have been dropped. So the above example would now read 1 Supervisor, 4 other staff.

Why is this a problem?

Firstly, because safe operation of your station might require specific grades - eg. SA(CR) - rather than just a total numner of generic 'staff'.

And secondly, management seem to think that 'staff' can now include cleaners, engineers, contractors etc. So in the above example, they may be carrying vacancies and have a SA(CR) and a CSA duty uncovered, but if there is a lift engineer and a cleaner on the station, your local busybody manager could insist that you open the station anyway.

It doesn't take much thought to work out that this is (a) a major threat to safety (b) a precursor to further massive cuts in station staffing. It's one more reason why our unions need to fight and why rank-and-file members need to kick their butts to do so.

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