Disability Rights

Demanding rights for disabled workers and opposing prejudice and discrimination on the grounds of disability throughout society.

Olympic Recognition And Reward – Transport For London (london Underground)

I am writing to advise members that following further talks at ACAS, a final proposal was tabled over Olympic Recognition and Reward for London Underground members. A meeting took place with 150 of your representatives at the end of last week to consult on this offer and the General Grades Committee has decided the following: -

Organisational Strategic Plan (OSP) Equality Review

Report to RMT stations representatives from Janine Booth

Summary:

  • London Underground does not consider the needs of equalities groups when calculating its station staffing levels.
  • LU's methods for collecting information, categorising passenger journeys and assessing data are deeply flawed and fail to account for equality issues.

LU's Latest Equality Assessment of its Job Cuts is "Shocking" and "Inadequate"

In light of discussions so far at the Equality review, London Underground has revised its Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) for staff only. (We have asked the company to also revise its EqIA for passengers.)

OSP Equality Review - Update

RMT (and TSSA) reps met London Underground management on Monday 21 March as part of the Equality review of the OSP (job cuts). Report from RMT Council of Executives member Janine Booth,

RMT Objects as London Underground Claims Job Cuts Benefit Elderly, Disabled and Other Passengers

As a public body, London Underground has to carry out an assessment of the impact of any new policy on various equality issues. The attached file is LU's Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) for its current OSP (policy of cutting 800 mainly-stations jobs). Below is the response to this document that I have written on behalf of RMT. You will see from this that LU's EQIA falls woefully short, and ignores key equality issues.

RMT Reveals LU's Refusal to Assist Visually-Impaired Passengers at Victoria

RMT has revealed a shocking instruction from London Underground management - that visually-impaired passengers should not travel to Victoria station during the evening peak. The BBC has covered this story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15303638

Safety report: Wheelchair ramps

[from the Stations and Revenue Safety Council]

Report: Job Cuts Equalities Review

The latest meeting of the Equalities strand of the OSP (job cuts) review, on Tuesday 1 March, revealed that London Underground does not consider the needs of equalities groups when calculating its station staffing levels. RMT secured agreement from LU to consider revising these calculations to include equalities considerations.

Visually Impaired Passengers Need Station Staff

But you don't need to take our word for it! The London Visual Impairment Forum (LVIF) has this to say about station staffing ...

"Staff on the underground trains are, on the whole, excellent ... If there are cuts to underground station and ticket office staff this could reduce the assistance offered to blind and partially sighted and other disabled passengers."

Disabled Groups Oppose London Underground Job Cuts

In April, RMT's London Transport Regional Council wrote to disabled people's organisations as part of our 'SOS: Staff Our Stations' campaign, alerting them to London Underground's planned job cuts and the difficulties that these will cause to disabled passengers. You can read our letter here. Several organisations representing disabled people have now sent the following letter to Mayor Boris Johnson, opposing the job cuts.

Dear Mr Johnson,

TfL Travel Support Cards

RMT has sent the following letter to management about TfL's 'Travel Support Cards' for passengers with hidden disablitiies ...

Following the Strategy & Development Forum on Wednesday, here are RMT's comments and questions about TfL's new 'Travel Support Card'. As we understand it, the aim of this is for passengers with hidden disabilities (eg. hearing impairment, learning difficulties, medical conditions eg. epilepsy) to carry a card which they show to staff to indicate what help they may need during their journey.

Letter to disabled people's organisations: Staff Our Stations!

I have written to over 50 disabled people's organisations in and around London about London Underground's proposed job cuts. Read the letter below ...

I am writing on behalf of the RMT trade union to alert you to London Underground’s plan to cut 800 station staff posts and to severely reduce its ticket office opening hours. I believe that this move will seriously reduce the service that London Underground offers its passengers, and will have a particularly adverse effect on disabled passengers.

Disabled Passengers Need Staff On Stations!

"Several groups representing those with disabilities suggested that having more staff available to provide help ... would improve current levels of accessibility significantly. ... Increased availability of staff would also reduce fear of crime by those with disabilities and the elderly, who frequently report feeling particularly vulnerable."
(London Assembly, The Future Tube Priorities Investigative Committee, January 2003, paragraph 11.4)

Reasonable Adjustments?

If you have a disability, then management are bound by law to consider reasonable adjustments to your working conditions to enable you to carry out your duties.

RMT has serious concerns that management are not abiding by this, and on at least one occasion have referred staff to redeployment without giving proper consideration to reasonable adjustments. We raised this issue at the Strategy & Development Forum today.

Medical Restrictions

RMT raised the issue of medical restrictions on staff at the Strategy & Development Forum today. As the Stations & Revenue Health & Safety Council is due to discuss this issue at its next meeting on 12 November, we presented three key concerns that we would like to be included in that discussion:

Discrimination Legislation: An Introduction

This text is from trade union solicitors OH Parsons, and is the introductory section to its specific guides to the law on discrimination in employment. It sets out the basics of how this legislation works - and its limits! The specific guides will be posted on this website in due course.

For the Record July edition. Rosters & wheelchairs.

During the course of a week thousands upon thousands of people pass through our stations, each with a their own concerns, aspirations and limitations, and most of the time these have absolutely nothing to do with us. This newsletter contains an article about a lady travelling London in her wheelchair and the difficulties that she and CSA's encountered at Liverpool Street.

RMT Wins Legal Cases for Station Staff

These extracts from the section of the General Secretary's report to RMT's 2009 AGM concerning the union's legal services cover some London Underground station staff cases ...

Report: Strategy and Development Forum, 14 May 2009

Your RMT representatives at this meeting were Malcolm Taylor and Janine Booth. Issues discussed were as follows:

  • Work experience for disabled people

    LUL has a programme of work experience on stations for people with learning disabilities. RMT supports this, and will continue to receive reports form management and input any ideas or concerns from our staff.

  • RMT wins legal case against Green Park management for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination

    SAMF Gianpaolo Vuoto had worked for LUL for nine years when in November 2007, Piccadilly line management sacked him.

    They dressed it up at his medical dismissal as 'reasonable', but nothing could be further from the truth - Gianpaolo had been able and was willing to continue being employed despite suffering from multiple sclerosis. All his workmates at Green Park backed him and testified to this in the tribunal.