Line Reserve

Posted in Tubeworker's blog on Fri, 08/04/2011 - 15:11,

'Line Reserve' is happening. Reserve station staff who used to only work on one group are being asked to work on other groups. As we have warned already, this will erode reserves' terms and conditions, who already get precious little notice of their work pattern. It has health and safety implications too. Staff need to know their stations. We had line reserve in the past but it was scrapped after the Kings Cross fire.

It has not come in with a bang. It seems to be the Northern and Met lines first, but others will surely follow. Management have been requesting people to cover duties elsewhere in a subtle way. They have asked people who tend to be most compliant with managers.

The framework agreement for station staff states that staff can be required to work on other groups occasionally. So, technically, management may be within their rights to be making these requests.

But they are using this part of the agreement now because a. the OSP has created an inbalance between groups' staffing levels: some groups are 'over establishment' while others have too few staff. And b. they almost seem to be proving a point: kicking us when we are already down.

The good news is that when staff have refused to go, management have not pushed the point. They are obviously not wanting to create huge fights over this.

So, if you are asked to work off your group, kick up a bit of a fuss. Even reserve station staff have a right to 28 days' notice of duties. They cannot change your rest days, and changes to duties should be by mutual agreement if possible. You do not have to be as flexible as they might make you believe.

But for those staff who lack the confidence, we may need to put a boycott in place, as action short of strike. We need not fear discipline for refusing if we are covered by official industrial action. Members, reps, branches and the unions need to get their membership records up to date so we can issue notice to LU of official industrial action and start resisting this, and other attacks, en masse.

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