London Underground allows local ('level 1') trade union reps a certain amount of time off work ('release') to do their union duties and access to certain facilities. Click here to see the details.
RMT believes that the small amount of release and facilities that reps get is not enough. Level 1 reps are the backbone of the union - the first point of contact for members, the day-to-day presence in the workplace, the 'eyes and ears' of the union picking up on members' concerns.
So at the Stations & Revenue Council on 19 June, we asked for more release and facilities, specifically:
- a regular 'surgery day' as trains reps get
- administration time of 4 hours per week to deal with correspondence and members' issues that can't wait
- an additional 'prelim' and 'feedback' day for groups with more than 4 stations, as it is physically impossible to get round the early turn and late turn staff on all the stations in just one day
- reserve staff who are union reps to have their duties allocated to facilitate attendance at branch meetings if they request it
- a twice-yearly meeting of all level 1 reps to discuss issues and 'compare notes'
The company's repsonse? No, No, No, No and No. Why? Because head honcho Gerry Duffy is conducting a review of reps' release so they can not possibly agree to anything. We said: How about you put these ideas into the review then? OK, they said.
The smart money says that for 'review', you should read 'attack'. So it is a good thing that we got in some positive demands before management launch their attempt to cut our reps' rights.