Transport union cancels strike action as members accept pay deal

Transport union cancels strike action as members accept pay deal

Members of one of the rail unions involved in the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions have voted to accept offers from train companies.

The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) said its 3,000 members voted overwhelmingly in favour of deals which include a two-year pay rise worth nine per cent.

The union said it had won an improved deal on pay, as well as commitments on job security and full consultation over any possible changes to terms and conditions following months of industrial unrest.

Strikes have cost the industry around £480 million in lost ticket revenue since June.

Britain’s biggest union involved a bittle pay dispute with the government - the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) - rejected the latest offer without a vote,

But the TSSA said 80 per cent of management grade staff and 60 per cent of general grade members voted to accept the pay deal.

The result means the TSSA will formally accept the offers and notify the train companies that ballots for continuing industrial action have been withdrawn.

Members in general and management grades will be eligible to receive a backdated pay rise of five per cent increase for 2022 and a four per cent rise for 2023, with those on the lowest pay grades being offered a minimum of £1,750, or an increase of over 13 per cent in 2022/23 pay packets.

The union said new part-time contracts and flexible working rosters and patterns will also encourage a more diverse workforce that can fit shifts around other commitments, while current voluntary working arrangements on Sundays will be formalised to meet rising demand for weekend travel services

Steve Montgomery, Chair of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “This is a positive breakthrough which shows these disputes can be resolved when members are given an opportunity to have their say in a democratic vote.

“TSSA members have sent a clear message that they welcome this fair offer, which means that those on the lowest pay are now eligible for a rise of over 13 per cent, with all grades receiving at least a 9 per cent rise in their 2022/23 pay packets.

“We hope that the RMT leadership will take this opportunity to reconsider their rejection of our equivalent offer, call off their unnecessary and disruptive strikes and allow their members a referendum on their own deal.”

A TSSA spokesperson said: “This is a clear decision from our members which will end our long-running dispute – something which could have happened months ago had it not been for Government intransigence.

“The incredible resolve we have seen from our members has resulted in a significantly improved pay deal over two years, commitments for no compulsory redundancies, improved opportunities for redeployment, as well as full consultation over proposed reforms to ticket offices and any changes to terms and conditions.

“Thanks to the great commitment of our members across the train companies they have collectively won a better future and can be rightly proud of their actions in this historic dispute.

“We will continue to hold the train companies and the Government to account as we go forward because Britain needs a fully functioning rail network at the heart of our green industrial future, and as a means of rebuilding our economy in the wake of the Covid pandemic.”