Disability Officer’s report to RMT London Transport Regional Council, October 2015

  • LUL Fit for the Future Stations Equality Impact Assessment
  • Disability discrimination cases in LUL
  • Employers’ disability policies
  • Proposed employment policy on Autism
  • RMT training
  • Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC)
  • UK Disability History Month
  • UN to investigate UK government
  • Access to Work survey
  • WOW petition

The next meeting between London Underground Ltd management and trade union equality reps to discuss the Fit for the Future Stations Equality Impact Assessment is next Thursday, 5 November. One key issue I have raised throughout and will continue to raise is that the planned new staffing model abolishes seated posts. Although the union has secured guarantees that staff who had medical restrictions at the time the FftFS process began would be found a suitable post, this does not apply to staff who have developed medical problems or disabilities since then. I know of several cases where members who have become unable to continue in standing roles have been pushed into redeployment, whereas in the past they would have be retrained to work in the ticket office or the control room. Thus, FftFS is shutting down stations working for many disabled people.

There is a seemingly constant stream of cases in London Underground Ltd of discrimination against disabled members. We of course represent each of these members as well as possible. However, we also need to address this as a collective issue, and detail the pattern of disability discrimination in the company. I will be working on compiling a dossier to challenge the company and if necessary expose its treatment of disabled staff. All contributions are welcome!

I continue to provide advice to reps on disabled members’ cases, and to support members taking Employment Tribunal claims. Please get in touch if you need any support or advice.

I am also working on compiling the disability policies of all employers in the LT Region.

I am drafting a proposal for a negotiated employment policy on Autism to be submitted to London Underground Ltd.

The programme of training courses at RMT’s National Education Centre in Doncaster for 2016 is now available, including some disability-related courses, such as Autism in the Workplace (which I will be tutoring) and Mental Health. It will be very useful for our representation and campaigning capacity in this Region if we had a group of reps who have been trained on these issues, so please consider enrolling for one or more of these courses.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) has written to me thanking us for our support in helping their activists get to Manchester for a week of protests at Conservative Party Conference.

22 November – 22 December is UK Disability History Month. This year’s theme is Portrayal of Disability: Then and NowMore information here.

The United Nations is to investigate the UK for possible ‘grave and systemic violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)’ by the government since 2010. This follows a complaint by DPAC about government cuts and ‘reforms’. This is the first time any government has been investigated for breaches of the Convention. More information here.

If you or any of your workmates have used the Access to Work fund to pay for accessibility measures, please fill in this survey to help campaigning to defend the fund.

The WOW [War on Welfare] petition is a Parliamentary petition demanding a cumulative impact assessment of the effects of austerity policies on disabled people. It is aiming for the 100,000 names required to get a debate in the House of Commons. Add your name here.

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