August 2015 TfL Tube strike: Tube union demands would "cost TfL £1.4bn" - and it's commuters who'll pay

 
Catherine Neilan
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“No responsible management could even contemplate such demands" (Source: Getty)
The demands being made by the four unions in the Night Tube dispute would cost £1.4bn over the next eight years, forcing Tube fares up, TfL has claimed.
RMT, TSSA, Aslef and Unite have been leading industrial action for the last few weeks over the introduction of the 24-hour service, seeking a number of commitments including above-inflation pay, as well as re-hiring hundreds of back office staff.
Other demands include a reduced 32 hour, four-day week for the same full time salary, Night Tube bonus payments “to be paid forever”, and payments to be made to staff on lines where the Night Tube will not even be operating.
Today TfL has warned these demands “would lead to significantly higher fares for LU customers or spell wholesale delay to vital improvements to London's Tube service”.
The transport body claimed the £1.4bn required to meet the demands could equate to an immediate 6.5 per cent fare increase – on top of the annual increase. For those using zones one and two travelcards, that would mean an extra £83 a year; those on zones one to six would see their fares rise by £152.
London Underground's chief operating officer Steve Griffiths said: “Having previously argued that it was all about 'work-life balance', certain unions have now made a whole series of unaffordable demands for more pay, shorter working hours and the reversal of the modernisation of the Tube.
“The £1.4 billion cost would either mean our customers being hit with an extra 6.5 per cent fares increase on top of the annual increases already assumed or wholesale cuts for plans to modernise the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines.
“No responsible management could even contemplate such demands.
“Our customers and London's businesses want to see this dispute resolved and, instead of threatening strikes, we call on the unions to engage in calm and realistic discussion with us to achieve that.”

This is the offer being made by London Underground:

  • A two per cent salary increase this year and inflation protected rises in 2016 and 2017
  • £500 bonus for all staff on Night Tube lines
  • £200 extra per Night Tube shift for drivers and then freedom to decide whether or not to work Night Tube shifts at all
  • £500 bonus for the successful completion of the modernisation of LU stations by February 2016
Unions have blasted London Underground for what they call "rosters from hell", but Tube bosses claim they have been shared with staff "to demonstrate how work-life balance has been protected", insisting they "will not be 'imposed' but are the basis for negotiation with the unions".

These guarantees include:

  • No-one will work more hours than they do today to run the Night Tube
  • Every driver on the Night Tube will have the same, if not more, weekends off
  • After the transition, they will have a choice about whether or not they work Night Tube shifts or not
  • Everybody will remain entitled to two days off in seven
  • Annual leave will remain significantly above the national average - 43 days for a train operator, 52 days for station staff

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