Why London Undergrounds pay offer is just not good enough.
Yesterday (Thursday 30th) ASLEF and the other three trade unions met with senior management at ACAS to formally respond to their “final offer” on pay and conditions which is set out below. Although one union, TSSA, has decided to accept the offer, ASLEF rejected it. Here is why.
The pay only offer could mean no pay rise at all!
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. But ASLEF will never agree to the pay offer unless it includes a fair deal for all drivers.
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.
What happens next?
ASLEF aren’t looking for a dispute. But we know our members don’t want things to drag on indefinitely. So we have given London Underground a deadline of February 10 to make an acceptable offer. If they don’t, we will give formal notification that we will ballot our members for industrial action.
We want them to sit down directly with us to look for a way forward that deals with the issues we have raised so a strike is avoided. We all know the companies’ financial position, but what we are asking for is sensible and affordable.
London Underground has a new Managing Director and a new Director of Employee Relations. They should avoid the mistakes of the past and work with us to find a practical solution to our issues.
The pay offer.
Year 1 – 2.7% (RPI Feb 2019 +0.2%)
Year 2 – 1.4% plus 30-minute reduction in working week (three banked rest
Year 3 – RPI Feb 2021 +0.2%
Year 4 – 1.4% plus further 30-minute reduction in working week (three further
banked rest days);
A pay increase-only deal of RPI +0.2% each year for four years
Minimum increase of £750 in year one (pro-rata for those wor
ng less than
Although we asked management what happens if different trade unions accept different options, they haven’t responded to the question!