Saturday, April 08, 2006

Deal Or No Deal?!

During the time I was on the sick, I had the 'pleasure' of watching a lot of evening TV which I normally miss because I'm at work. One such show is Deal or No Deal on Channel 4.
This is a really simple format but is nerve-wrecking for those people sat in the chair! After each round, Noel Edmonds asks the question "Deal or no deal?".

What's all this got to do with the District line? Well, it's all in relation to the managements offer of a long-term deal for our pay and conditions. NO DEAL say I.
The thing which annoys me is the management want to give us a type of performance-related pay which will depend on certain criteria being met, such as cleanliness, reliability and overcrowding.
Now call me thick if you wish, but how on earth can someone driving a train have any effect whatsoever on those three things?
If the company wish me to clean my train after every trip, then I shall stick a broom up my backside and sweep the train as I'm walking through looking for lost property. Otherwise, how do they expect us to contribute to cleanliness standards? We employ cleaners at all the termini to clean the trains, and if certain punters want to fill the train with crap in between stations, there's nothing I can do about it, so there's one part of my PRP gone.

Then there's reliability. How on earth can we do anything about this either? If a signal fails in front of us, we drivers know how to get around it following the relevant rules and regs. However we aren't qualified to go down on the track and fix it! Similarly, if it's a signal protecting a junction, the points need to be secured. This needs to be done by a station supervisor or similar rank. This all takes time, but is neccesary for the safety of the train and the passengers. There's no way to speed up the process. So there's another part of the PRP gone.

So we have overcrowding left. How do I deal with this? Maybe the company want me to close the doors on people to stop them getting on to my train? Or perhaps I should wander down my train at every station to count the amount of passengers in each carriage and throw off the excess?
OK, so maybe it should be our station colleagues who have to control the overcrowding? How do they achieve this? Obviously they have to stop selling tickets and opening the stations. We'll just run empty trains all day! That should solve the problem.

In all seriousness, how do the management expect us to have any control over any of these issues? I hope the unions will also say NO DEAL. I know I'm leaving in a few months, so it doesn't really affect me, but I'll be leaving behind a lot of very good friends who I know work damn hard (despite what the Evening Standard may say) and I don't want to see them stitched up in a long-term deal by a very cunning management.

By the way, my missus has her first scan later this month. Sadly I'll not be there to see it, but she's promised to get me a photo if she can! Oh no, I'm turning into a baby bore!!


Blogger Tube Dude said...

I would like to suggest that in a effort of maintain 100% PRP, that we close all the stations and stop people riding on our trains, this way we'll have clean trains that aren't over crowded, if we weld all the point into one postition then the signals wont fail.

Alternativly we could stand together as one and kick this offer into touch.

And as far as the bay bore thing, never - when Little Legs was being made I couldn't wait to see the latest scan pic. Life is a miricale, never a bore.

2:03 pm  

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