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  • Writer's pictureFinn Brennan ASLEF Distri

Why you should Vote Yes for a fair deal on pay and conditions.

Updated: Feb 28, 2020

ASLEF members on London Underground are now receiving ballot papers as we try to achieve a fair settlement on pay and conditions. It's really important to Vote Yes and return your ballot paper. We will only have a mandate if there is at least a 50% turnout of eligible union members with at least 40% of all members voting Yes. That means that any vote not returned undermines our ability to negotiate an acceptable settlement.

ASLEF has a long record of delivering for our members. Your negotiating team believe the current offer just isn't good enough for all the reasons set out below. With the support of our members we can, and will achieve better.

The pay only offer could mean no pay rise at all in some years.

One of the options put forward by management is for a 4-year deal of RPI + 0.2%. But this has no guaranteed minimum pay increase. That means that if RPI (the Retail Price Index measure of inflation) drops to zero or below, there would be no pay rise at all! This has happened a number of times over the last decade.

No reduction in working hours!

The pay only offer would mean no opportunity to reduce working hours for another four years. With new laws planned to make it much harder for railway unions to take any effective action, management feel they will have the upper hand in negotiations in future. If we don’t make progress on reducing working hours now, it could be almost impossible to do so in the future.

A real terms pay cut?

The alternative version of management offer, which does include a phased reduction to a 34- hour week, would mean a maximum pay rise of 1.4% no matter how high that RPI goes. With so much economic uncertainty, that could mean the real value of your wages fall substantially. You could pay much more for the reduction of an hour a week, than the cost to the company. That is simply not fair.

Drivers deserve the market rate for the job.

While London Underground claim to pay above market rates, that is clearly not the case for train drivers. Salaries on Crossrail and London Overground are higher and the working week shorter. ASLEF has said from the start that, as well as a decent pay rise for all staff, we want this pay gap recognised and dealt with. Management have refused to even discuss this as part of the pay settlement.

What about the other parts of the pay and conditions claim ?

Management have flatly turned down the unions claims for a paid meal relief or increased annual leave. They are adamant that they will not move on either. And despite months of talks there is still no final agreement on Boxing Day payments or improving travel benefits.

We need management to make an improved offer to settle this dispute. Talks can't just drift on forever with no progress. A big Yes vote will mean we can reach a fair deal without more delay.

Support your Union. Please vote Yes and return your ballot paper straight away.

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