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  • Writer's pictureFinn Brennan ASLEF Distri

"More talks, less trust." Pay talks update.

Facing imminent strike action, TfL suddenly decided last weekend that their “full and final” offer was neither full nor final. Despite months of protestations that there was “no more money” and claims that the funding agreement with the government meant it was impossible to offer more, the Mayor suddenly found an extra £30 million per year to try to settle the London Underground pay dispute.

It is very good news that this extra money has been found. And the lesson that TfL will always back down when faced with sustained strike action is one that everyone should take on board when management come forward with their plans for trains modernisation and other attacks on conditions in the months ahead.  No one will ever again believe that “full and final” means full and final.

A special Company Council meeting with management and representatives from all four unions was held this morning (Friday 12th January ) to discuss what happens next. Management have not yet provided us with a copy of the agreement made with the Mayor but said there were now options available to spend this extra money.

The figures they gave us were;

·         Increasing the original 5% pay offer to 7% for all London Underground staff would cost the entire £30 million.

·         Unfreezing the pay bands for middle management grades would cost £5.5 Million.

·         A “leisure priv card “ would cost around £5 million per year. They are not prepared to give back full priv travel facilities.

·         A one off lump sum of £500 for all employees would cost £9.3 million

·         An increase of 6% for those earning less than £40,000 would cost £2.5 million.

(These are management figures given verbally. We have yet to see anything in writing)

ASLEF told management that while any extra money for staff is of course very welcome, we no longer trust any commitment they make.  With extra money on the table and a big improvement in TfL’s financial position, those parts of our claim like a reduced working week, that we were told were “unaffordable” should also be reconsidered.

And as there can be no more trust with the current management team who repeatedly told us their offer was final, we believe there needs to be a new negotiating team on their side.

TfL’s tactics are very transparent. They want to do a quick deal that will avoid strikes untill the Mayoral election and put off any talks on the 2024 pay settlement due in April, untill the summer. That would allow whoever is Mayor then to say, “all the money is gone” and try to force through another round of cuts and attacks on conditions when strikes would be less politically damaging.

Management have said they will write to us to clarify “what extra funding has been made available and on what terms” and that they will invite all unions back for more talks next week. ASLEF want to see a fair deal for everyone, without some grades being given extra benefits at the expense of others.  We will of course work with all the other unions to try to achieve that.

Our reps from across London Underground will meet next Thursday to discuss our next steps and reports will be given at branch meetings.

Finn Brennan

ASLEF District Organiser.

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