Transport for London is pulling out all the stops to let frustrated commuters know how hard it tried to avoid today's Tube strike.
In case you've been living in a bunker for the past week and don't know, members of the four transport unions will walk out from 6:30pm tonight. There will be no service between then and early Friday morning.
The unions – RMT, TSSA, Aslef and Unite - insist they have no choice but to strike over what they argue is an unfair offer regarding the new Night Tube conditions. They claim there are not enough guarantees over workers' “work-life balance”.
Having rejected all previous offers, the latest one was dismissed for being a repackaging of the same deal.
But TfL disagrees, and today revealed the offer that has been rejected so that commuters can see exactly why there will be no service for a day and a half.
Here are the details:
- An above-inflation average two per cent salary increase this year and an inflation proof rise in 2016 and 2017.
- Staff on Night Tube lines or stations will be paid £500 once the service is introduced on 12 September.
- Station staff will receive a £500 bonus in February 2016 for the successful completion of the modernisation of customer service, currently being carried out.
- Drivers, who already work shifts covering 24 hours, will receive an extra £200 per Night Tube shift during a short transition period, after which they will have the choice whether or not to work Night Tube shifts.
- Drivers will have the same number of weekends off as now and no one will be asked to work more hours than they do today. Everybody will remain entitled to two days off in seven. Annual leave will remain at 43 days for a train driver and 52 days for station staff.
Nick Brown, managing director of London Underground, said: “The unions rejected this fair offer outright and instead demanded more money, the hiring of even more staff – including for ticket offices that customers no longer use – and a 32 hour, four day week. No employer can afford to meet those sorts of demands.
“We continue to urge them to call off the strike, put the new offer to their members and not subject Londoners to further unnecessary disruption. We remain available for talks at any time.”