Rail commuters faced delays and disruption ahead of another walkout by train drivers on Friday – but it was compounded by the suspension of a strike on the Elizabeth line.
The central section of the “Lizzie line” was closed for 24 hours on January 12 – the first time since the Queen opened it last May – when members of the TSSA, Prospect and the RMT unions succeeded in demanding pay and pensions. get.
But Transport for London commissioner Andy Lord indicated that progress had been made in negotiations which enabled the unions to call off further action.
Crossrail Project: Elizabeth Line – In pictures
The line is now the most used railway in the country, carrying around 600,000 passengers during the week. Yesterday he reached the milestone of 100m journey, just over eight months since he started running in Central London.
Mr Lord said TfL was unable to raise “base” rates of pay for Elizabeth line managers. But a “benchmark” review of roles at Rail for London Infrastructure, the TfL subsidiary that oversees the line, could move staff into higher pay bands.
The TSSA union said it had agreed to suspend action for a month while talks took place. TSSA organizer Mel Taylor described the negotiations as “significant and serious” and added: “The progress made since the strike only shows the power of our collective action, and in the days since we’ve seen more people doing members of our TSSA family. .
“However, the company should note that we reserve the right to reissue our take action notice at any time with 14 days’ notice.”
Action by Aslef, which is seeking a pay deal that recognizes the cost of living crisis, will affect 14 train firms on Friday. No services are expected to run on South East, Thameslink or Southern, all major commuter routes.
This morning around one in seven trains across the UK rail network was late, very late (delayed by more than 30 minutes) or cancelled, according to the trains.im website. Network Rail expected around 80 to 85 per cent of trains to run.
TfL has announced a two-year pay deal worth 8.8 per cent for white-collar staff – four per cent for 2022 and 4.4 per cent this year. This does not include London Underground staff, who received an 8 per cent rise last April.
Mr Lord said the offer, which is being implemented despite not all unions agreeing, was “reasonable” in the context of TfL’s post-pandemic financial challenges.
Fiona Brunskill, interim chief people officer at TfL, said: “While the offer has not received unanimous support, it has been agreed by two of our workplace unions.
“What we can offer for pay rises has been a key talking point.
“We know that some colleagues would like to increase this offer further, but unfortunately this was the best offer we could make to meet our funding market and the financial sustainability commitments that come with it.”