Train strikes latest LIVE: Train drivers offered 4% pay rise for two years in bid to end Aslef action


Lydia Chantler-Hicks and Miriam Burrell

Fri, 6 January 2023 at 6:20 pm GMT

Rail passengers are facing a fourth consecutive day of travel disruption on Friday as RMT union members launch a fresh 48-hour walkout.

The strike at Network Rail and 14 train operators means only around 20% of normal services will run with trains starting later and finishing earlier.

The walkout is again hitting key TfL services in London with severe delays to Elizabeth Line trains running between Paddington and Reading and Liverpool Street and Shenfield.

The London Overground, Circle, Hammersmith & City, and District lines are also severely affected while the Bakerloo line and Overground are part suspended.

Meanwhile Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has offered train drivers a 4 per cent pay rise over two years, after Aslef union members striked on Thursday.

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, RDG said.

Aslef told the Standard it has not seen the offer, sent on Friday evening, and will not be responding until next week.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak revealed he has invited union leaders for talks on Monday.

“We want to have a grown up, honest conversation with all union leaders about what is responsible, what is reasonable and what is affordable for our country when it comes to pay,” he said during a visit to a London school on Friday morning.

Offer for train drivers includes faster training

18:20 , Miriam Burrell

The Rail Delivery Group’s (RDG) has offer to speed up training so more drivers can join the workforce faster, in a proposal given to striking drivers.

The offer also includes changing the method for learning new routes, allowing drivers “to adopt new routes far more rapidly to help plug gaps in service”.

It would also give train companies back the ability to move drivers between depots where there are gaps due to sickness or absence, and puts the control of staff work and training schedules “back in the hands of the employers”.

What we know about the RDG offer

17:27 , Miriam Burrell

On Friday evening the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) offered train drivers a pay increase of 4% for 2022 and 4% for this year.

RDG said 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 deal also includes a commitment to no compulsory redundancies until at least March 31 2024.

Proposed changes include a Sunday Commitment Protocol, whereby drivers who are rostered to work a Sunday shift are contractually committed to doing so, unless alternative cover can be found.

RDG chairman Steve Montgomery said the offer was “fair and affordable” at a time when taxpayers are still funding up to an extra £175 million a month to make up the shortfall in revenue post-Covid.

Aslef said it had not seen the offer and will not be responding until next week.

 (PA)
(PA)

RDG offers train drivers ‘landmark proposal’

17:13 , Miriam Burrell

The Rail Delivery Group said it was offering 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.

A statement said: “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.”

Aslef said it had not seen the offer and will likely not be responding until Monday.

Train drivers offered 4% pay rise – reports

17:03 , Miriam Burrell

Train drivers have been offered a 4 per cent pay rise across two years by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), it is being reported.

Operators offered Aslef union members a 4 per cent backdated pay rise for 2022 and a 4 per cent increase for 2023, the Telegraph reports.

RDG wrote to the union on Friday, and Aslef is yet to respond.

Are there strikes tomorrow?

16:53 , Miriam Burrell

National Rail strikes are continuing on Saturday January 7.

Some disruption is expected on the London Overground, the Elizabeth line, the Circle line and parts of the District and Bakerloo lines.

Services on the District and Elizabeth Line will finish early, at around 5.30 or 6pm. Travellers are being urged to plan ahead and check the National Rail and TfL websites.

Severe delays for several Tube lines

16:28 , Miriam Burrell

A number of Tube lines are severely delayed this evening as commuters make their way home.

The Circle, District, Hammersmith & City, and Elizabeth lines are facing severe delays.

On the Bakerloo line, there is no service all day between Queen’s Park and Harrow and Wealdstone due to strike action, TfL said. There is a good service on the rest of the line.

On the London Overground there is no service between Barking and Barking Riverside, Romford and Upminster and between New Cross and Surrey Quays.

A reduced service is operating on other routes until 6pm on Friday evening.

 (PA Archive)
(PA Archive)

Commuters warned to keep an eye on train times as services due to end early

15:12 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Southeastern has warned commuters to check train times as limited train services running today are due to begin winding down in the early evening.

The rail firm has also urged people to avoid catching the final trains to and from London where possible, warning they are likely to be “extremely busy”.

Plans by ministers to meet with union leaders on Monday is ‘too little, too late’ – Lib Dems

13:13 , Lydia Chantler-Hicks

Liberal Democrat Cabinet Office spokesperson Christine Jardine said: “This is too little, too late. People have already died waiting for ambulances because of these harmful strikes, all because Rishi Sunak refused to get around the table with workers.

“Businesses have lost money and commuters have been unable to get into work after weeks of chaos. The human cost and economic damage of these strikes has been devastating.

Christine Jardine (PA)
Christine Jardine (PA)

“Rishi Sunak should apologise to the country for taking so long to do the right thing and properly sit down and negotiate. Weeks have been wasted and now the public is exhausted after services kept coming to a standstill.

“Rishi Sunak is proving to be just like his predecessors by allowing the country to be plunged into chaos. He is just as bad as Boris Johnson and Liz Truss.”

Mick Lynch accuses Ben Shephard of parroting Network Rail’s lines in explosive debate

12:37 , Barney Davis

RMT boss Mick Lynch accused ITV’s Ben Shephard of merely repeating Network Rail bosses in a fiery exchange on Good Morning Britain.

After being confronted with the idea that the strikes could be called off if only 2,000 RMT members changed their votes, Mr Lynch angrily hit back.

He told the presenter: “Well, you’re just repeating the company’s lines there on their behalf. I don’t know why you choose to do that.”

He joked about the 2:1 ratio of those who voted against the deal, adding: “In any football match that I’ve seen if you get two and the opposition get 1 then you win the game.”

In the viral clip, Ben Shephard conceded he had got the figures from Network Rail.

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