On this Thursday 20th July TSSA and DPAC members and supporters will be travelling together en masse to the Department for Transport’s headquarters in London to deliver a petition demanding the right to ride. This is a part of DPAC’s week of action – to coincide with the holding of the para-athletics championships in London.
Assemble outside the Department for Transport at 2pm.
Department for Transport Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London W1P 4DR
TUBE UNION RMT has called off strike action and heralded a victory for justice for Night Tube drivers as LUL agreed to end the practice of preventing them from moving into vacant full-time positions for a period of at least 18 months. All other staff, including part-time Night Tube Station Staff had been eligible to apply, but Night Tube Train Operators were not.
This policy had led to the union being in dispute with LUL with a whopping 96% voting for strike action and over 98% for action short of a strike. Strike action had been planned for April 8 and 9 and April 29 and 30.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“I want to congratulate our members for standing firm and delivering a massive vote in favour of strike action over this discriminatory policy. It forced London Underground to see sense and stop discriminating against Night Tube drivers over their career progression.
“It was a senseless and damaging policy that picked out one group of staff for negative treatment and of course the drivers were angry, which is why our members voted overwhelmingly for action.
“Now that the dispute has been resolved we have called off the strike action and instructed our members to work as normal.”
London Underground station staff will be taking strike action from 6pm this Sunday to 6pm the following Monday, after talks between the RMT and TSSA unions over the unacceptable conditions that have been left behind after eight years of cuts, closures and neglect by the previous Tory mayor, Boris Johnson.
As the RMT have put it in an excellent leaflet to the public:
- 838 Job Cuts have left stations without sufficient staff to operate safely and effectively.
- The tube is reliant on staff working overtime on rest days.
- An overtime ban by station staff has led to over 80 station closures in just over a month. This proves LU has cut too many jobs.
- LU is wasting money to cover gaps in the properly trained workforce with hastily briefed managers who get paid three times the normal pay rate of station staff.
- While mangers get huge payments the starting pay rate for station staff has been cut by 25%.
The crisis on the tube’s stations is a result of the fantastically misnamed ‘Fit for the Future’ project.
Reason, safety considerations, providing a service for passengers and staff welfare have all been ignored by senior management, who have driven through massive staffing cuts across the network. Many stations are now staffed by one person around the clock. This means that as soon as that member of staff is dealing with an issue there is no-one available to help you. At busier stations staffing has also been cut. Ticket offices were closed but on the vast majority of stations no additional staff are available in ticket halls to help you on self-service machines.
The Only unsubsidised Metro System in the World
If the government, London Mayor and Transport for London get their way London Underground will be the only system of its kind to operate without a government subsidy. Both New York Subway and Paris Metro receive significant government support. London Underground needs to be financed as a public service.
If you can make it to a London Underground picket line on Monday morning, please go and show your support!
Report on Transport Access Issues from SERTUC Disabled Workers Network for 1 Dec 2016 SERTUC Transport Industries Network (To be taken forward as ongoing for future meetings)
Ticket Office Closures
The closure of ticket offices restricts access to tube travel and mainline rail travel for disabled people. Those who are partially sighted and have learning difficulties. Have great difficulty or are unable to use automatic ticket machines.
Cuts in Outer urban and rural bus routes
Cuts in outer urban and rural bus routes both in terms of the areas that they cover and their frequency. This restricts the ability of disabled people to get around and lead an active life. Also of course not only impact on disabled people. Also families and individuals that don’t own or have access to a car. Also people that give up driving due to ill health and old age.
No lift access to stations
On tube and mainline so many stations don’t have lift access. Meaning that the disabled and the infirm are unable to use these stations. On the tube it also restricts access to those who have a fear of escalators.
There is no assistance for people who need help to get on trains. Especially at stations where there is a wide platform gap.
Large Platform gaps
These restrict the access to disabled people on the tube and more so on mainline trains. Clapham junction is an instance. Also Wembley on tube I believe were a low height tube train uses a high level mainline platform.
When stations are unstaffed they do feel unsafe. Not only concern for disabled people. Also for women travelling later at night. Or of course anyone with a fear and concern about using an unstaffed station.
Unclear station announcements for partially sighted people
Partially sighted people can often find that station announcements are unclear. There is limited staff on a station for them to go to for help on which train and platform that they need.
The need to book in advance if you need assistance to travel
The need to book in advance if you need assistance to travel. Is a restriction and limitation on the access for disabled people to mainline rail especially. You are not able to suddenly decide you would like to make a journey.
Automatic Rottweiler barriers
The narrow automatic Rottweiler barriers are a restriction to travel for disabled people. There are very few wide gates on most tube and mainline stations. For mainline stations Kings Cross is a prime example of this. It was rebuilt with a sea of automatic Rottweiler barriers.
Bus routes using legislation to use buses with no disabled access
There is legislation that as I understand it. Allows bus companies to continue using buses with no disabled access. To extend the life of older buses to reduce operating costs. As well as probably franchising costs for councils. Giving them a cheaper franchise cost on marginal bus routes.
Not overlooked at all here. Respect that the SERTUC Transport Industries Network and NAUTILUS do take forward any issues and concerns about maritime transport. That are raised by the SERTUC Disabled workers Network.
Responding to the publication of Travelwatch’s Review into the impact of the ticket office closure programme on the Tube.
TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said:
“We welcome the urgency which with London Mayor, Sadiq Khan wants to tackle the serious shortcomings identified in TravelWatch’s report. The truth is that Boris Johnson’s ill-conceived and badly executed ticket office closure programme has created many problems for passengers and for our members. Put simply, there is not enough staff on our Tube. We hope that TfL now address this without further delay.
“This report rightly highlights London’s passengers have been severely short changed by Boris Johnson’s culling of tstaff numbers on our Tube. Customer service has been thrown out of the window and the safety of passengers and staff alike has been severely compromised. We completely agree with TravelWatch’s conclusion that there must be a consistently visible staff presence in stations They also say that to do this, London Underground (LU) must introduce a focal point in every station where passengers know that staff can be located. We use to have this, it was called a Ticket Office. It’s time now for LU to reverse Boris’s short sighted and damaging closure programme and reopen the ticket offices!”
On 1st January 2017, the government will announce a further rise in rail fares for UK train passengers. It’s the Christmas present no one asked for – rather than giving us the gift of proper investment in rail infrastructure and full public ownership, yet again passengers are paying more but getting less.
While fares keep rising, cuts to services and staffing are taking place across the network – with more ticket offices closing, removal of guards from trains, extension of driver only operations and fewer staff at stations to provide help when we need it.
Action for Rail is organising a day of action on Tuesday, 3rd January 2017. We are calling for a publicly owned railway with affordable fares to end this #RailRipOff.
Public ownership of rail could deliver cheaper fares. If the lines up for renewal this parliament were taken back into public ownership, that could save around £1.5bn – which could fund a 10 per cent cut in season tickets and other regulated fares from 2017. A third (£520m) of this £1.5bn saving would come from recouping the money private train companies pay in dividends to their shareholders.
More info here.
Rail fares have risen twice as fast as wages since 2010, according to TUC research. Rail workers lead public protests at stations round the country.
TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said:
“Our rail fares are already the highest in Europe and today’s increases will only make that record worse. It’s time that ministers gave rail passengers a break and actually froze fares in real terms.
“Fares on the most popular routes have jumped by more than 245% since rail was privatised 20 years ago. Running a publicly owned railway would end this annual mugging of passengers and give us a network run in the interests of passengers and staff.”