By Harry Bell
TSSA members across train operating companies have voted to accept a national framework pay offer of at least 9 per cent over two years, bringing an end to the dispute with the union.
It means TSSA members in general and management grades will be eligible to receive a backdated pay rise of 5 per cent increase for 2022 and a 4 per cent rise for 2023, with those on the lowest pay grades being offered a minimum of £1750, or an increase of over 13 percent in 2022/23 pay packets.
As with the offers made to other rail unions, the proposals set out reforms that will support funding of the pay increases, put the industry on a sustainable footing and equip it to meet the changing needs of our customers. These include a new multi-skilled station role, with station staff trained and better equipped to take on a range of responsibilities aimed at better meeting the needs of customers.
Additionally, 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.
The breakthrough comes after the RMT executive rejected an equivalent offer last month, refusing to allow its full membership to have their say in a democratic referendum. The executive is now seeking an unconditional offer on pay, despite having acknowledged throughout negotiations that reforms were essential to plug the £2bn gap in the railway’s finances and fund a pay increase.
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%, with all grades receiving at least a 9% 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.”
There are currently around 3000 TSSA members in Train Operating Companies, who work primarily as management or on the front line alongside RMT members in roles such as control room staff, selling tickets or as engineers.
Industrial action has cost the industry around £480m in lost ticket revenue since June, on top of its current £2bn fares shortfall post-covid. Taxpayers are injecting between £125 million and £175 million a month to fund the railway.