Management Fail to Provide Contingency Timetables & Schedules
Managements lack of ability to have contingency plans and think ahead has lead to staff quite literally being sick & tired of sorting out their mess.
In March 2020 the UK entered the first stages of the pandemic. Staff across London Underground teamed together and worked tirelessly to keep the capital moving, so essential workers could get to where they needed to be and support the national effort. LU staff kept the network moving so nurses could get to hospitals, care workers could get to those in need, and warehouse workers could get food to families.
There was never a contingency plan for a situation like this, members worked day and night for months. Preparing, delivering, adjusting and tweaking so a service could run across the network with the limited resources they had available.
“Service Control, Trains, Station, Depot & Fleet staff put in the biggest ever peace time effort to keep the network running with the highest levels of sickness in LU History!”
So what happens now?
RMT have pushed since the beginning of the pandemic that we should have emergency timetables and schedules for situations like this. Not to mention this situation has been existent prior to the pandemic with ONA (Operator Not Available) issues on a multitude of lines which we were also ‘promised’ would be resolved.
In 2020 LU agreed that backup timetables would be a good idea and would work on it. However nothing has come to light and it turns out this was another kick into the long grass.
LU have now said that they won’t be making any emergency backup timetables with associated schedules or signalling data as they made some once and they didn’t work so we can just keep struggling on with what we’ve got. What they didn’t seem to realise is the immense strain this puts Service Control & Trains colleagues under and leaves no room for error or service recovery.
Staff are quite literally sick of this heavy handed not our problem approach, this has caused increase non covid related sickness across the network and has pushed fatigue and stress through the roof.
RMT Fight Back
- On Thursday 21st January RMT once again raised timetables at the London Underground Health & Safety forum, with the response previous Covid timetables didn’t work and we should keep on working with what we’ve got.
- On Friday 22nd January RMT called on London Underground for an emergency joint Health & Safety and Industrial Service Control Council to resolve timetables, we await their response!
- On Monday 25th January RMT representatives from Train & Service Control jointly met with the Regional Organiser discussing the issues of timetables and scheduling which we both have multiple similar problems and have formed a joint approach on the matter.
- On Monday 25th January RMT representatives from Trains are meeting LU to put forward their problems with the current approach to timetabling.
- We currently await LU’s response but if the outcome isn’t satisfactory this item will be referred to the National Executive.
- UPDATE: London Underground have now responded (Monday 25th January) and are refusing to have joint H&S/IR emergency meeting with Service Control Reps. Although a trains meeting of the same type is taking place.
Inform the Service Manager you need a break due to fatigue and for them to make immediate arrangements for you to be relieved, if this cannot be done in a timely manner inform them to make the railway safe so you can have a break.
Having a break and getting some fresh air can help increase concentration and prevent you from making a mistake.
If you have a safety critical role you need to be alert and able to react.