Strike threat wins London Overground staff three-year pay deal, with £5,000 more for lowest paid workers

Strike threat wins London Overground staff three-year pay deal, with £5,000 more for lowest paid workers

Staff working on London Overground have won a three-year pay deal that will include about £5,000 of increases for the lowest paid workers after threatening to go on strike.

The RMT union announced on Friday that it had settled its dispute with Arriva Rail London, which operates the Overground for Transport for London.

Details emerged after strikes planned for Monday and Tuesday next week were called off.

The deal is similar to one struck by the four Tube unions with TfL in the wake of Mayor Sadiq Khan finding an additional £30m to increase the pay of the 16,500 Underground staff in return for the RMT calling off a week of strikes that had been planned in early January.

The RMT said on Friday that its Overground members had voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new deal.

It means the dispute is now settled and all planned strike action has been cancelled.

The Overground, which has recently had its six lines renamed by Sadiq Khan and TfL at a cost of £6.3m, is the second busiest railway in the UK after the Elizabeth line, with about 180m journeys a year.

The deal involves a 6.5 per cent increase for 2023, or a minimum payment of £2,000 for anyone with a salary of under £30,000.

This will be followed by an increase equivalent to the February rate of RPI interest or a minimum payment of £1,750 for anyone with a salary of under £32,000.

In 2025, pay will increase by the February 2025 RPI rate, with a minimum payment - that is yet to be agreed - for anyone earning less than £33,750.

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “I congratulate our London Overground members for showing such tremendous resolve in this dispute.

“Strong organisation and the threat of strike action has once again yielded results.”

Steve Best, managing director at Arriva Rail London, said: “We’re delighted that we have been able to reach an agreement with the RMT union and industrial action planned for next week has been suspended as a result.

“This is a fair pay award which ensures long-term job security for our employees and a sustainable future for the railway. We are also pleased that London Overground customers will no longer face disrupted services next week.”

A TfL spokesperson said: “We are pleased industrial action planned for Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 March has been suspended by the RMT following positive discussions with our operator Arriva Rail London. All London Overground services will now operate as normal.”

The strike had been the second of two 48-hour walk-outs called the RMT in its dispute over pay.

An earlier strike, which had been due to take place on February 19 and 20 was also suspended for further talks.

Next week’s strike would have stopped services operating before 8am or after 6pm on the Gospel Oak to Barking Riverside route, now branded as the Suffragette line; the Stratford to Richmond/Clapham Junction route, now dubbed the Mildmay line; and the Highbury & Islington to Clapham Junction/West Croydon/Crystal Palace/New Cross route, which will become the Windrush line.

In addition, services would not have called at six stations, including Haggerston, Rotherhithe and Shoreditch High Street.

In response to earlier strikes being called off, RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "London Overground members working for Arriva Rail London have made progress through their determination to take strike action.”

The strikes were announced on January 30 by the RMT with Mr Lynch saying his members were furious they had been given a "below inflation pay offer".

However, Arriva Rail London said at the time it had offered a "good pay award".

"We believe we have offered a good pay award in comparison not only to our industry but other industries and businesses in the UK too,” managing director Steve Best said.

“We remain committed to engaging with the RMT in the hope of resolving this dispute.”