RMT Trains' Safety Council Update, 2nd of April 2020

Yesterday the RMT THSC took part in the third in a series of conference calls with LU to discuss the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and measures that were being put in place to reduce risk to all parties. 
LU confirmed that tube usage had remained at 94% down on normal levels but accepted that there continues to be areas which experience short term heavy loading. Their view is that changes to timetables will resolve this concern. 
Change Assurance Plan – LU have shared with us their plan to manage the risk provided by the current crisis. We have raised a number of concerns and highlighted shortcomings with this plan which LU are now considering.  We have also highlighted concerns with LU about the lack of communications to staff around changes to processes during this period.  They have accepted that improvements need to be made at this challenging time. 
Machinery and normal business – We confirmed with LU that where possible normal machinery activities such as Tier/Level 1’s, PGI’s etc would continue. Obviously, social distancing guidance will need to be adhered to and the use of technology would be encouraged. 
Safety rep involvement inreviewingsheets – Members will be aware that LU are proposing new schedules for each line. Normally, when new sheets are devised only IR reps get an opportunity to scrutinise them however in the current crisis, we firmly believe that Safety reps should be involved in assessing whether the proposed schedules provide the necessary allowance to issues such as social distancing.  This issue has been referred to a Directors Tier 2a meeting. 
Staff taxis – The RMT continue to urge LU to come to their senses on this issue. When other TOC’s limit taxi use to single occupancy LU continue to suggest that taxis can be shared. The RMT position is clear, members should follow the government’s advice on social distancing, if the taxi is not dedicated for your use only do not use it. 
Safety checks – A revised process for carrying out the essential check of in cab PTI images has been introduced across the SSR, Jubilee and Northern lines. Members from both trains and stations have raised concerns on this new approach and we have requested that LU provide appropriate support and guidance for all members of staff involved in this process. 
Train cleaning – Cleaning of the whole fleet with the new disinfectant Zoono has now been completed with all fleets entering a 21 day cycle of cleaning. The RMT again raised the issue of LU providing an incab assurance thus providing visibility to Train Ops that their cab had been cleaned within the 21-day cycle. LU remain reluctant to provide this assurance. We have advised LU that if this can’t be achieved before the next cycle of cleaning, we wish to refer the item to a Directors level meeting. 
Messroom and canteen cleaning – LU confirmed that a plan to use Zoono in messrooms was being worked towards and that this was imminent. It was also confirmed that Zoono would not be used in canteens as these areas were subject to already rigorous cleaning and issues around food consumption. 
Hand gel – LU advised that sourcing stock continues to be challenging. They agreed that providing gels to Train Op was important and that priority was being given to front line staff. 
Gloves and masks – The issue of providing gloves and masks to Train Ops was discussed. LU stated that whilst they were not wholly against the idea of supplying these to staff the majority of immediate resource was being used within the NHS. We urged LU to accelerate provision of these to Train Operators who had requested them.