Ex-Silverlink Stations: Management Attack Core Supervisor Role

London Underground management are trying to whittle away the core roles of a Station Supervisor by creating a part-qualified Supervisor grade on the ex-Silverlink stations. RMT believes that this is both unfair on the staff who will take up these Supervisor jobs and a threat to the Station Supervisor grade in general. We are insisting that all Station Supervisor grades must continue to receive the full core Supervisor training and not be de-skilled.

At today's meeting of the Joint Working Party on transfer of stations from Silverlink, management proposed that the Supervisors on these stations would not receive the full core Supervisor training, and that despite having ticket office duties, would be graded as SS3 rather than SSMF. This is in effect a new grade, which they call 'SS3-SFO'.

'SFO' stands for Station Facilities Operator, referring to the fact that London Underground manages these stations but does not own them. This is LUL's pretext for the Supervisors being partly-trained and lower-paid. However, RMT reps pointed out that the 'SFO' status makes no practical difference to the role of the Station Supervisor. Pressed by RMT, management were unable to provide a single example of a task that a Supervisor at an ex-Silverlink station would not do that a Supervisor on an otherwise-similar LUL station would do.

Management insist that these stations are 'unique'. However, the differences between the ex-Silverlink stations and other LUL stations are within the normal range of differences between LUL stations. The stations complexity system deals with variations between stations, and management should not make disrupt this system with their attempt to create a new, less skilled, lower-paid grade..

The management chair of the meeting even went so far as to suggest that these stations may not need Supervisors at all, as they have managed without them during the transition period. This overlooks the fact that they have managed very badly without Supervisors, and reveals management's agenda of attacking the grade.

RMT fears that if management get away with this, they will then move on to other stations where you may not carry out the full range of Supervisor duties. Perhaps they will create a new, lower-paid SS grade for stations without points, or surface stations, or stations on branch lines.

RMT will defend the Supervisor grade from de-skilling, and urges all members to get involved in helping us to do so.

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