3 BIG ISSUES – Mileage, Cancelling Leave, Timetables

SERVICE CONTROL 3 BIG ISSUES - 3rd April

Today the Service Control Functional Council once again held emergency talks with LU regarding the ever changing and national crisis that is Covid-19 and how we are responding in Service Control. On a number of items we have made good progress but 3 big issues really stuck out to your reps which weren’t acceptable and LU needs to seriously address to keep staff on side. We’ve passed these on to our Regional Organiser to push to Director level and place demands on LU.

mileage claims

LU has set a limit of £20 for these, we requested that anyone who urgently needs more than this to get to work be dealt with on a case by case basis or the 45p per mile be reinstated. LU rejected this and said the limit is £20 for everyone and they won’t look at any case by case basis.

– RMT Service Control demand that this £20 limit be removed and with immediate effect anyone that has a need to drive be refunded all their mileage.

cancelling annual leave

LU are currently preventing any staff affected by Covid-19 who have had their holidays or leave arrangements affected by this national crisis being allowed to cancel their leave and take them at a later date. Even if their holiday has been cancelled by the supplier.

We were presented with the following words from LU:
Only the following groups can cancel Annual Leave in light of Covid-19, those using 2020 leave allocation who are self isolating or in isolation for 12 weeks at home. Or those who’s Annual Leave cancellation supports the SCM with their operational coverage where the SCM see’s fit. And the above only applies to anything upto the end of May.

We were absolutely outraged by this and put forward a strong argument that this completely screws over staff who’ve had holidays cancelled and goes against new government legislation. LU attempted to further muddy the water with arguments about days that are classified as ‘Statutory Holiday’ and days that are not.

‘The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020’

(10) Where in any leave year it was not reasonably practicable for a worker to take some or all of the leave to which the worker was entitled under this regulation as a result of the effects of coronavirus (including on the worker, the employer or the wider economy or society), the worker shall be entitled to carry forward such untaken leave as provided for in paragraph (11).

– RMT Service Control demand LU immediately accept any annual leave cancellations for the foreseeable future and reviewed again after this crisis.

"We've introduced measures to ensure that workers who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave due to COVID-19 will now be able to carry that entitlement over into the next two years."

NEW WORKING TIMETABLES

LU have presented Service Control with new working timetables which they see as being of a reduced service. RMT Service Control two weeks ago clearly stated to LU they should consult with Controllers, Trains Managers & on the ground staff of what’s realistically achievable. Instead they’ve presented new timetables which are seen as a ‘stepping stone’ to re-introduce a full service.

It is the Service Control Functional Council view that any attempt to bring in new published timetables in the next couple of weeks to replace existing Special ones is both dangerous and ill advised. LU have admitted that their intention to bring in scheduled timetables will likely involve ‘planned cancellations’ until normality resumes. This would be dangerous in making previously unaffected branch lines more packed if a planned cancellation resulted in a branch line having a larger service gap. It is our view that they should avoid implementing new TTs unless they can guarantee T/op numbers, which in the current climate cannot be done as no one knows how many staff may be infected at a later day when the pandemic increases.

– RMT Service Control demand LU create realistic & achievable working timetables consulting with on the ground operational staff before creating them. This demand was originally placed to LU on the 18th March in letter by RMT Service Control and since ignored.

Letter to LU 18th March – Section 2 – Paragraph 5

‘Consult with each lines operational staff, Controllers, Signallers, Train Managers on what realistic and achievable service can be delivered with current numbers, not just using an off the shelf timetable which is un-achievable.’