Finn Brennan ASLEF Distri
Time for a fair deal on Tramlink pay.
More than six months after the end of our last pay deal, Tramlink management are still refusing to make a new pay offer. With taxes going up this month and prices for fuel, domestic energy and food going through the roof, you need an inflation linked pay rise just to stay still. Tram Operations Ltd, part of FirstGroup, have a contract with TfL that means their income goes up in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI)measure of inflation. But instead of passing that on to staff, they want to freeze wages so they can increase profits. Right through the pandemic, drivers and other frontline staff came to work to keep vital services running. Government ministers and managers who could safely work from home were happy to offer praise and applause. But clapping won't pay your household bills! In November, the month on which the Tramlink pay rise is normally based, RPI inflation was 7.1%. In March it was 8.2%. A pay freeze means a huge drop in the real value of your salary. Other TfL franchises have already agreed RPI linked pay rises. TfL Rail drivers have had an 8.2 % increase. Underground drivers have received 8.4%. Without a fair deal, Tramlink staff will fall even further behind and your families living standards will be hit by higher taxes and prices. But shareholders in FirstGroup won't be feeling the pain. Last week The Telegraph reported that they are "in line for a £180 million pay day" from the sale of one of its businesses.
The only way to get management to make a fair pay offer is to show we are ready to fight for it. That is why the ASLEF Executive Committee has decided this week to start the process to ballot our members for industrial action. To make sure that we get the result we need, it is important that all our members contact details are up to date. If you have moved recently or don't regularly receive the union magazine, please email email@example.com or visit https://aslef.org.uk/contact-us to update your details. But we also need to make sure that as many people as possible are members of the union. Unless we can demonstrate the backing of staff, management have no incentive to make a pay offer. So please talk to your workmates and encourage them all to join ASLEF. People who have recently joined the job won't realise that it is only because of the efforts of the union that we got the 35-hour week with 13 extra rest days or improved pay and increased annual leave in the past. To maintain decent salaries and working conditions in the future we need a strong and active union. New members can join here or speak to your local rep for an application form. Once a timetable for the ballot is arranged an update will be sent out to members.