Train strikes: How much do rail workers earn?

·2-min read
Tens of thousands of RMT union members are striking this week. (Getty Images)
Tens of thousands of RMT union members are striking this week. (Getty Images)

Thousands of Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) members are striking this week in a dispute over salaries and working conditions.

Most railway services across the UK will be disrupted on June 21, 23, and 25, amid the industrial action.

The RMT says train operators have “proposed pay rates that are massively under the relevant rates of inflation, coming on top of the pay freezes of the past few years.”

The RMT is reportedly demanding pay rises of 7 per cent, while the current offer sits around 2-3 percent.

In a statement, the RMT said: “Every worker in Britain deserves a pay rise that reflects the cost-of-living crisis.

“All working people should have the benefit of good negotiated terms, conditions, working practices and occupational pensions that will ensure their living standards in retirement.”

Industry bosses have insisted that a settlement is still possible, but said that the union had to accept the need for reforming “outdated” working practices.

So amid the train strikes taking place this week, just how much does the average rail worker earn?

UK Train & Tube Strike | Tuesday 21 June 2022

How much do rail workers earn?

Rail workers–not including train drivers–earn a median salary of £36,800, according to the ONS.

The median salary for rail travel assistants, such as ticket collectors, guards, and information staff, is £33,310.

The median salary for rail construction and maintenance operatives–the people who lay and repair tracks–is £34,998.

Rail transport operatives, such as signallers and drivers’ assistants, earn a median salary of £48,750.

However, the RMT says the median salary for rail workers is closer to £33,000, because the ONS’s figures do not include cleaners’ salaries, while around 10,000 RMT members are cleaners.

How much do train drivers earn?

The median salary for train and tram drivers was £59,189 in 2021.

But train drivers are not part of the workers striking, as they are represented by their own union, the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef), not the RMT Union.

Around 96 per cent of train drivers in Britain are a part of Aslef, and the other 4 per cent are not union members.

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