Every Tube ticket office to close

Discussion in 'London Underground' started by ralphchadkirk, 21 Nov 2013.

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  1. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    Indeed, there are now over 300 people in TfL who are earning over £100,000 a year.

    The right-wing papers like to go on about Bob Crow's salary of £145,000 a year, but they're a bit less keen to mention the pay packets of TfL bigwigs. The TfL boss Peter Hendy's salary is huge, but Underground boss Mike "I'm going to fix this for you" Brown trousered a whopping £450,000 last year. Leaving aside the fact that RMT members- and nobody else- pay Crowbar Bob, if his salary is "fat cat" how would they define Mike Brown's?

    It's a lot more complex than that, as London Reconnections explain

    At the busiest "gateway" stations there are currently 12 people employed. This will change to 13 under the new plans, but two of those people will be "meet and greet" rather than operational. So at every "gateway" station there will be one person who gets demoted.

    At the busy "destination" stations staffing levels won't change, other than the ticket clerk now having to work in the concourse.

    Most tube stations are classed as "metro" or "local" though. At Metro stations (typically section 12 stations, which can't open without sufficient staffing) there will be a loss of one member of staff. At "local" stations it is even worse. These will now only have one member of staff on the station (with the attendant risks that lone working brings), with one supervisor being delegated to cover six stations. TfL are essentially clearing out the supervisor level, and that's going to have major safety implications.

    Interestingly TfL try to hide these significant staffing cuts in their policy documents, focusing on "visible staff presence", because (of course) someone in a ticket office isn't "visible".

    It's easy to get volunteers out for a few days in a strike to "prove" that the staff are no longer needed. It isn't so easy when the service is fully operational, especially with the section 12 stations. We're already seeing stations close due to staff shortages on a more regular basis, and lopping 25% of the staffing off most section 12 stations is only going to make this worse. If a staff member is ill that station isn't going to open; if three successive section 12 stations are closed, then the train service is not permitted to run at all.

    It's this sort of cutting corners in the deep-level stations that contributed to the Kings Cross fire of 1987. It's a real shame we're going back that way.
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2014
  2. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    BBC reporting TSSA have called off their strike having 'reached a deal':

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-26130165

    I guess that possibly means more stations open whatever the RMT decide...
     
  3. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I wonder what's in the deal...
     
  4. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    Not just tssa, the rmt have also called the strike off.
     
  5. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    I reported the situation two hours ago though...
     
  6. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    I'd expect a bigger redundancy package and/or guarantees that there will be no compulsory redundancies and pay protection.

    All stuff LU should have offered months ago.
     
  7. A-driver

    A-driver Established Member

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    No need to take it personally...I wasn't criticising you.
     
  8. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I was under the impression they'd already offered that...
     
  9. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    They offered no redundancies "if staff are flexible".
     
  10. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    So if somebody who is on £29k is being displaced and offered a job paying £23k on the other end of the network but simply cannot afford to commute (no trains running when they need them), so decide not to take the job they are making themselves unemployed and are not being made redundant then!


    For your information DBS did exactly the same thing a few years ago with the freight drivers, redundant drivers were offered jobs hundreds of miles away from where they and their families lived, but hey they were offered the jobs so therefore were making themselves unemployed!
     
    Last edited: 11 Feb 2014
  11. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Ah, I assume by 'flexible' they mean 'work for less pay than now'? In which case I would also hedge my bets on the deal being something like no compulsory redundancies and pay protection.
     
  12. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    There current offer (as I understand it) includes pay protection for 3 years assuming staff don't get back up to their previous grade - though as there will be fewer of these grades this will be difficult.
     
  13. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    Not just that. I understand from what I've read that staff were also concerned about where they would be asked to work. Given that it is primarily suburban London where the supervisor grade is being wiped out, that's not an unreasonable worry. Trying to get from the suburbs into Central London in time for the first train of the morning would not be much fun.

    It has to be a "reasonable" job offer, and part of that involves place of work. Trying to move someone to the other end of the country probably isn't "reasonable", but taking your employer to Tribunal to get your redundancy pay is not cheap.

    TfL could probably have a wider definition of "reasonable" because they offer free travel and TfL have a 24-hour network.
     
  14. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    No one is going to be reduced like that; whilst some existing CSAs would have been put as a CSA2, they would have kept the CSA1 salary (equivalent to the existing CSA). Multifunctionals (booking office) and Control Room Assistants face a drop from ~£35k to ~£29k if they don't get the CSS job. SS1s face a drop from ~£51k and SS2s from ~£48k, to ~£45k, if they don't get the CSM job.
     
  15. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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  16. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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  17. Be3G

    Be3G Established Member

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    I note no-one's spotted a rather interesting little titbit near the bottom of this TfL press release:

    :!:

    Makes me think that whoever wrote this blog post might have been right on the money after all.
     
  18. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    Nobody in the history of the world has ever gone into negotiations with their final offer as their opening offer. I don't see why this would be any different at all.

    My (outsiders) perception of Underground negotiating tactics is that they deliberately goad unions into strike action. They go steaming in with unrealistic demands, purely to see how far they can push the union, knowing that they hold all the cards. It's not as though many of us can afford to lose two days' pay. If the union doesn't strike, they push again until the union does strike. And then we get the Mayor (doesn't matter which colour, we had more strikes under Ken) out shouting the unions down for "holding Londoners to ransom".

    I'm seeing similar negotiating tactics in my line of work from the national body that sets pay and conditions. They know we can't afford to lose more than one or two days' pay a month, so they're refusing to negotiate at all. It'll eventually change, with a big dollop of "you've held us to ransom" gibberish to boot.
     
    Last edited: 12 Feb 2014
  19. Be3G

    Be3G Established Member

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    I take your point, but it's not quite a typical negotiation where two bodies agree to discuss something from the start as part of the planning process: in this situation, TfL seemed to have (publicly at least) firmly made their mind up about what they were going to do. Consider all the press releases, news stories, and even the detailed website explaining the changes to TfL employees – with nary a hint anywhere that TfL would settle for anything less than every ticket office closed. Until now!
     
  20. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    I think TfL would like to keep some of the bigger station ticket offices open (I seem to recall BAA bitching at the loss of ticket offices at Heathrow), and the best way of doing it without losing face is to say they were "bullied" by the unions. But the big question is why they didn't do these negotiations privately, late last year, just after the redundancy consultation notices were issued. That is, after all, the definition of "redundancy consultation".

    But I firmly believe this strike has been orchestrated for political reasons, especially when the quoted savings of £50m are barely a puddle in the overall TfL budget (the TfL management salary budget is at least £32.8m, for comparison- there are 328 people at TfL earning over £100,000pa). Boris tried to orchestrate a similar strike with the Fire Brigades Union over the closure of fire stations, which also had a quoted saving of £50m, but found that the public overwhelmingly supported the firemen.
     
  21. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    I pretty much despise Boris, however if you consider London's many problems associated with being one of the worlds major urban centres i would guess he and his successors will have far more major and important things to plan with their time than organising fights with various unions primarily for personal political gain ,I think these type of disputes usually occur from time to time because all parties have fairly entrenched views and agendas ,totally mistrust the other side , and don't wish to back down ,not publicly anyway ,rather than the presence of any mayoral master plan primarily designed to trigger strikes and consign all trade unionism to ancient history ,he is not that clever
     
    Last edited: 13 Feb 2014
  22. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    He's a lot clever than the character of Bumbling Boris is designed to suggest. I don't like him, but I'll admire how clever he is.
     
  23. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I've seen him speak a few times, and he's definitely smart.
     
  24. Tetchytyke

    Tetchytyke Established Member

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    Boris Johnson is exceptionally intelligent, don't be taken in by the Bumbling Boris comedy charade. The man is very very clever and knows exactly what he is doing.

    I can't stand the man, but I'd say he was probably the most intelligent politician around at the moment.
     
  25. jon91

    jon91 Member

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    Not terribly difficult considering who's in charge of the country's purse strings... :D
     
  26. bicbasher

    bicbasher Established Member

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    I noticed Embankment ticket office has already closed with the booth boarded up.

    Did this happen at the same time the escalators to the deep level platforms close?
     
  27. Mojo

    Mojo Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    LU have unveiled the first fourteen booking office closures under these proposals which will take place in February and March:

    Alperton
    Bermondsey
    Bethnal Green
    Brixton
    Canons Park
    Highbury/Islington
    Kingsbury
    Manor House
    North Greenwich
    Queensway
    Seven Sisters [High Road entrance]
    Shepherds Bush (Central line)
    South Wimbledon
    Stockwell
     
  28. spinba11

    spinba11 Member

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    1 at Kings Cross is closing as well but can't remember which one.
     
  29. telstarbox

    telstarbox Established Member

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    All fairly busy stations, but more used by commuters and locals and not likely locations for tourists to enter the system for the first time?
     
  30. bicbasher

    bicbasher Established Member

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    I'm not surprised about Embankment, however (for now) Charing Cross is a very short walk away with an open ticket office.
     
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