Tube drivers receive £350 bonus to work on New Year’s Day as rail bosses offer them a £5,000 salary increase ahead of crunch talks between ministers and unions

  • Ministers and rail unions are preparing to discuss a pay deal tomorrow
  • Proposal would increase train drivers’ average salary from £60,000 to nearly £65,000 by the end of the year
  • It comes as rail bosses hope a two-year deal offered to workers could end a series of national strikes 

Tube drivers received £350 to work on New Year’s Day, it has emerged, as Ministers and rail unions prepare to discuss a pay deal tomorrow.

Cartoon for December 8, 2023

Rail bosses have offered a proposal that would increase train drivers’ average salary from £60,000 to nearly £65,000 by the end of the year.

Explaining the January 1 bonus paid to its drivers, Transport for London, which runs the Tube, said: ‘Almost all bank holidays are normal contractual working days for drivers. They only receive recognition for working on Boxing Day and overnight on New Year’s Eve and into New Year’s Day to allow us to run a full service.’

It comes as rail bosses hope a two-year deal offered to workers could end a series of national strikes. Union bosses will discuss the proposal with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tomorrow.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents rail firms, said it had put forward a ‘landmark outline proposal’ in exchange for a pay increase of four per cent for 2022 and four per cent this year. It also includes a commitment to no compulsory redundancies until March 31, 2024.

RDG chairman Steve Montgomery said: ‘This is a fair and affordable offer in challenging times, providing a significant uplift in salary for train drivers while bringing in common-sense and long-overdue reforms that would drive up reliability for passengers and allow the railway to adapt to changed travel patterns.’

The RMT has rejected the deal, saying it includes ‘unacceptable changes’ such as expanding driver-only operation on train services.

Rail bosses have offered a proposal that would increase train drivers’ average salary from £60,000 to nearly £65,000 by the end of the year

The strikes are part of a long-running pay dispute between staff and train operating companies.

The Department for Transport said: ‘Passengers have rightly had enough and want the disruption to end.’

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