I write to advise branches that decisions have been taken with regard to Olympic Recognition and reward at Transport for London companies: -

“We note the reports from our negotiating team and welcome the apparent progress in talks with London Underground, in which RMT is stating and explaining our position: that all grades of staff are entitled to a decent financial reward for Olympics working without having to compromise our agreements. We await London Underground's response, and will continue to constructively discuss with LU the staffing arrangements necessary to deliver the transport service that London needs for successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.

RMT will not sign up to any deal with London Underground that includes changes to the Framework Agreements for the Olympic period or endorses individuals breaking those agreements, even "voluntarily". Collective agreements are not for individuals to opt out of.

RMT will not tolerate any form of coercion of members to break agreements and will use our full strength to defend any member who resists such pressure and refuses to break our agreements.

We instruct the General Secretary to:

- urgently ensure that preparations are made to enable the union to ballot London Underground members for industrial action promptly should this become necessary

- ensure that members are provided with information and updates on this issue

- offer assistance to the Regional Council in its role in producing and circulating publicity around workplaces

- monitor media coverage of this issue and make every effort to ensure that RMT's stance is accurately represented

We further note the correspondence from TSSA dated 29 March, stating that a joint union approach would have been appropriate at an earlier stage but that TSSA is now close to concluding an agreement with LU. We note that RMT wrote to TSSA on 18 January suggesting a joint union approach, and instruct the General Secretary to immediately contact TSSA, urging it in the strongest terms not to conclude an agreement with London Underground before discussing the issue with RMT, and in particular, not to conclude an agreement with London Underground that includes changes to or breaches of Framework Agreements, noting that TSSA and London Underground do not have the power to change agreements without the participation of RMT.

Further, in accordance with the request of our Regional Organiser, we instruct the General Secretary to write to TfL advising that following its latest offer, we remain in dispute and wish to go to ACAS to attempt to resolve the matter.

London Transport Regional Council and branches to be advised.”

Additionally the GGC met again to further consider this issue and the following decision was taken:-

We note the latest wording regarding Olympics working proposed by London Underground management via ACAS. We reject this proposal, as it does not meet the position of this union. Ludicrously, it expects RMT to cooperate in the implementation of 'agreements' that we are not party to, and asserts that management will not only seek volunteers to work duties that may breach agreements but also compel staff to do so should the company consider it necessary. We note and endorse the proposed wordings submitted by our negotiators. We instruct the General Secretary to arrange for ACAS talks to resume as soon as practical, where we will continue to press for an agreement in line with this union’s stance.

We instruct the General Secretary to obtain research information that will assist our campaigning eg. expenses that the Olympics has incurred, the pay of the organising committee, the estimated extra income for TfL due to the influx of visitors, the duration of the effect on transport needs of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

We endorse the ‘Question and Answer’ text dated today which can be found on file, and urge our representatives to circulate this around London Underground workplaces.

Further to our previous decision, our health and safety representatives may attend meetings concerning Olympics working to obtain information, and must state when doing so that RMT is in dispute and register a failure to agree.

London Transport Regional Council and branches to be advised.”

I therefore encourage our reps to distribute the “Question and Answer“ text locally. Furthermore the union’s position is that our Health and Safety reps may attend meetings concerning the Olympics in order to obtain information however they should state that RMT is in dispute and register a failure to agree.

I am currently acting in accordance with the above decisions and will update branches on further developments.

Issues At Work: