“Our pay offer is extremely fair,” insists London Underground
Londoners are set to face three 24-hour Tube strikes in the next month – a 24-hour strike on January 27 followed by two further strikes on February 15 and February 17.
Tube drivers have announced strikes over disputes about pay and plans for an all-night service.
London Underground has offered a four-year pay deal to drivers and has announced plans of hiring part-time drivers to run the Night Tube.
But the unions aren’t happy with the deal offered.
Finn Brennan of Aslef said: “We genuinely regret the inconvenience that will be caused by any action but the behaviour of London Underground’s senior management team have left us with no other choice.
“Our negotiating team last met London Underground at Acas on November 10 and since then they have refused to talk to us despite repeated requests.
“Our members have been extremely patient, they have waited for more than three and half years for promised talks on improving work life balance. There is still no indication when they will receive the pay rise that was due last April.
“We want to see an all-night service introduced, and we are not opposed to the recruitment of part time staff. But we will not accept a zero hours culture being introduced and working conditions undermined. Aslef wants a fair deal for existing staff and for new employees.
“We are ready to talk at any time to finally resolve this dispute. It is time for the mayor of London and his team at TfL to stop the political posturing and engage with us to stop London suffering more disruption.”
Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer for London Underground, said: “These latest threats to London show that the Aslef leadership is trying everything to stop the Night Tube – a service which will mean easier night-time journeys for our customers, a boost to the economy of £360m, and the creation of around 700 new jobs at London Underground.
“Our four year pay offer is extremely fair. As a result of hiring new drivers, who will be on permanent, part-time contracts with the same rates of pay and the same benefits as existing drivers, we’ve made absolute guarantees that no current driver will have to work the Night Tube unless they want to. This total protection of work-life balance is precisely what ASLEF leaders asked for, so it is astonishing that they are now once again threatening strike action.
“The truth is that they are making excessive demands for more money, fewer hours and a four day week and expect fare and tax payers to pick up the bill. That is the real reason they plan to disrupt Londoners. No employer could possibly meet such demands and strike action will change nothing. There is no more money.”
“We have held numerous meetings with the Unions since October 2014, including meetings held at our instigation with the conciliation service ACAS. We continue to offer to work with the trade union leadership to reach a realistic and affordable resolution to this dispute to deliver the Night Tube for customers and a fair and sustainable pay settlement for our staff.”
Here’s what London Underground is offering Tube drivers:
- The recruitment of new part-time drivers does not impact our existing agreements with the unions.
- The roles were open to both internal and external candidates, and we informed the union leaderships in November 2015 of our intention to recruit part-time drivers.
- Hiring them will mean that no current driver will have to work the Night Tube unless they choose to and there will be no impact on the rosters of existing drivers.
- We have received over 6,000 applications for these roles.
- The four year pay offer consists of:
Year 1 would remain at an average of 2%
Years 2 and 3 would remain at RPI or 1%, whichever is greater;
Year 4 would be RPI plus 0.25%.
We will also offer a £500 bonus for all staff on Night Tube lines.
- TfL will not be changing any existing terms and conditions through the delivery of the Night Tube.
- The Night Tube will cut night-time journeys by an average of 20 minutes, with some cut by more than an hour. It will also play a vital role in opening up London’s night-time economy, supporting almost 2,000 permanent jobs and boosting the economy by £360m.
- Demand for a 24-hour Tube service is clear – late night Tube use has increased at double the rate of day-time trips and night bus usage has risen by 173 per cent since 2000. There are already over half a million users of the Tube after 22:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.