Train drivers offered pay deal as Saturday strike bites

Aslef said it had not seen the offer

Train operating companies have offered the drivers' union a two-year pay deal. PA
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Managers have offered train drivers a new pay deal as a wider strike cripples the UK network for a fifth consecutive day.

Train operating companies have offered drivers in the Aslef union a two-year pay deal in an attempt to resolve the dispute which has led to a series of strikes.

But on Saturday services will again be mostly cancelled as the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) holds its fourth strike day of the week.

Aslef said it had not seen the offer but the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said it was a “landmark outline proposal” that would deliver more reliable services for passengers, in exchange for a pay increase of 4 per cent for 2022 and 4 per cent for this year.

It also includes a commitment to no compulsory redundancies until at least March 31 2024.

“The offer is contingent on common sense, vital and long overdue changes to working arrangements across the industry,” an RDG statement said.

“Many of these are already best practice in parts of the railway and are designed to avoid disruptive gaps in services.

“If accepted, the proposal would mean the base salary for the average driver would increase from £60,000, to almost £65,000 by the end of 2023.”

The RDG said proposed changes included a “Sunday commitment protocol”, where drivers who are rostered to work a Sunday shift are contractually committed to doing so unless alternative cover can be found.

“The change is vital in a post-Covid world which has seen leisure travel — currently at 116% of pre-Covid levels on Sundays — recover far more strongly than commuter and business travel,” the group said in a statement.

The RDG said its proposal reduces the time it takes to train drivers through better use of technology, allowing more drivers to join the workforce more quickly.

Changes are also being proposed for learning new routes more rapidly.

RMT members at Network Rail and 14 train companies continued with a 48-hour strike on Saturday.

Only around one in five trains will run.

Updated: January 07, 2023, 1:21 AM