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Northern Told Strike Looms Over Wages Dispute

21 June 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has raised the prospect of looming strike action across Northern rail in a dispute over pay.

Cortes has today written to Northern’s CEO, David Brown, calling for ‘copper bottomed guarantees’ on wages alleging that discussions on the 2019 settlement have ‘descended into farce’.

Concerns were flagged by the union which fears a lack of engagement in discussions at Northern over wages signals an intention by the Company - part of the Arriva group - to make an offer below the RPI rate of inflation.

Commenting, Manuel Cortes, said: “David Brown is being informed that our union must have guarantees that members will not suffer a cut in wages.

"Let’s be clear, our members will not pay the price for Northern's many failures. My letter to Mr Brown specifies copper bottomed guarantees must be made that they will not suffer a pay cut by having a below inflation rise nor be treated any less favourably than other grades within the company.

“Northern has until next Friday (28th June) to give our members the commitments that they are seeking.

"Our response to the prospect of any form of pay cuts for our members or them being treated as second class in any way will be a ballot for industrial action.

“Northern has been given due notice to come up with the goods as the clock is ticking.”

Affected TSSA members at Northern fall into the Clerical, Supervisory and Professional and Technical Staff grades – which includes staff in all areas of the business from stations, to back office and also the engineering discipline.

The 2018 pay settlement was decided in September last year, at 3.9 per cent. This was backdated to May.

At the time Northern gave a firm commitment that 2019 talks would commence in good time so the pay could be implemented on the pay anniversary date (1st April). This has not happened.

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