Battling your way through the Tube's chaotic promotion system
LU is training apprentices to supervisor level, but giving them a CSA job at the end of it.
If you followed the links in management's report of the latest Company Council meeting, you may have noticed that the company proposes blocking staff from transfer or promotion if you have a warning.
Given that managers chuck around attendance warnings like confetti, this will mean hundreds of staff frozen where they are at any time. this will be miserable for us: be unlucky enough to get sick twice in six months, and that's your chance to advance your career - or just to work nearer your home or at a workplace you prefer - put on hold for half a year.
London Underground have decided that the internal applications for train driver are not good enough, so they are going to look elsewhere - and recruit externally.
Word has it that management have ordered that at least nine stations posts are held vacant on each line. So that's 100ish across the job.
Congratulations to everyone who passed the SCRA assessment. If your name's in the Traffic Circular, it's time to nominate a position.
The Hammersmith and City line needs some more Instructor Operators, what with the S stock 'n' all. So, that'd be permanent posts and promotion opportunities for drivers, then? Oh no.
Did you apply for the SS3 posts advertised in the Traffic Circular?
There have been so few promotional opportunities in LU recently that last week’s Station Supervisor campaign was a much-needed ray of hope. This was soon dashed when staff read they could only apply if able to nominate for a ticket office position. By Friday, the Campaign Recruitment Team said they had put the whole campaign on hold due to an unspecified ‘administrative error’. Had they listened to the RMT’s objection to this discriminatory way of recruiting, or is it just plain incompetence on their part? Either way, this episode has left staff feeling even more demoralized.
Management have a little ploy on stations - slipping in SS2s (or SSMFs) to work on SS1 stations. They did it last year at Warren Street, getting an SRT SS to help out on the night turn during the refurb. Now they are trying it at Waterloo, getting SS2/MFs from other groups to come and work on the station. And rumour has it that LUL reckons that 'escalator assist' Supervisors at Bank don't actually have to be SS1s despite it being an SS1 station!
The absolute cheek of it! Management, having enticed staff to apply for RCI and discovered that far more of us passed than they anticipated (perhaps they underestimate our talents!), have written to some of those on the training waiting list asking us if we want to go and work on the buses!
We kid you not. What an absolute indictment of the state of the internal promotion system that they can think of nothing better to do with capable staff than give us away to another company.
Remember management promising to create the grade of SA(CR) coach, so that all those Stations Assistants (Control Room) who have been coaching other staff in the role could actually get some reward ie. dosh? Hmm, well they might have agreed it a year ago, but they still haven't delivered the goods. No recruitment advert has appeared, and we are not likely to see one before next month.
Contrast this to the undue haste when they have recruitment campaigns that management really want to pursue (such as the French-speaking CSAs at Kings Cross).
Remember LUL management saying they would endeavour to fill all posts with internal applicants? Check this out. Yes, it's an external recruitment ad for duty managers.
Applicants for SSMF have been left waiting for assessment dates due to the very high demand for drivers assessments. Yes, to assess all the external driver applicants they've been encouraging to apply!
CSAs going to drivers' assessments are reporting that they are totally outnumbered by external applicants. The lack of capacity to deal with these external applicants is leaving internal applicants for other grades hanging on in the dark.
You would think that the utter chaos in the internal promotion system would make management realise that privatising it - they handed it over to Reed a few years back - was a really bad idea.
LUL management plan to advertise externally to recruit drivers, with the bizarre claim that there are not enough internal applicants who are up to scratch.
Lots of station staff applied for the RCI jobs that were advertised a couple of months ago. And lots passed the application.
Note to occupational health. When you do the sight test for someone who has achieved promotion to driver, let them wear their glasses. After all, they are hardly going to get in the cab and take their specs off, are they?!
Rumour has it that a CSA, having passed all the tests for driver, may have been knocked back after passing the sight test with glasses on but failing it with them off. Tubeworker can not believe that management would cause such an obvious injustice through such a basic mistake.
Traffic Circular 38 contained a rather odd recruitment advert. Service Controllers wanted, should have a 'bit of magic' and the ability to 'make problems disappear'!
Could this be an admission by management that mere Muggles can not operate their system? Could that be because of impractical timetables, knackered equipment and stress-packed working conditions?
Or maybe management's ability to create problems out of thin air means they need staff who can then magic them away again?!
Fancy an SAMF's job? Then pop down to your local JobCentre!
Believe the bare-faced cheek of it or not, management are actually talking about direct (ie.external) recruitment of SAMFs. Yes, this is at the same time that they are planning to get rid of 270+ SAMF positions and are making it as hard as possible for CSAs to get promoted.
As management advertise for new CRAs, they will no doubt be expecting existing CRAs to coach the newcomers. But despite having agreed in principle to pay them a coaching allowance, they are dragging their feet about actually implementing it.
Staff applying from promotion have been flummoxed to discover that the application form asks them for names and addresses of former employers - and even for exam results from school!
Station staff will have noticed that management struggle to cover posts over a long period - eg. during maternity leave or long-term sickness. Obviously, then, they need to employ more reserves.
Well, you'd think it's obvious, wouldn't you? But management have another plan, which will save them a considerable amount of dosh - at your expense. They want to have a group of staff who hold licences above their grade, then step them up for several months to cover the uncovered post, only to send them back to their lower grade.
The escalator refurbishment at Tottenham Court Road very nearly didn't go ahead, because Reed Recruitment - who now take care of TfL recruitment - failed to recruit enough staff.
As a result of the chaos in the promotion system, plenty of CSAs/MFs who would make perfectly competent Station Supervisors are not getting a look in. They are not getting the job, and not even getting feedback as to why they are not getting the job.
Tried to get a promotion recently? Then you’ll know that the system is chaos. Applicants are messed about with dates for assessments and interviews. And if you fail and want feedback? Forget it.
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