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Price for equality at Network Rail is £25 million

14 May 2012

Network Rail is facing the largest ever equal pay claim in the rail industry which could end up costing it an extra £25 million.

The TSSA rail union agreed an equal pay claim campaign today to end the two tier system whereby female staff earn on average £4,500 less than men doing similar jobs at the taxpayer funded firm which maintains tracks, signals and stations.

An initial claim for 34 women middle managers was backed at the union's annual conference in Cardiff. They will be paid lump sums of over £25,000 each in back pay if their claims succeed.

Union general secretary Manuel Cortes said the women were "the tip of the iceberg" when he outlined his equality plans at a legal briefing for delegates. Hundreds more claims could follow as up to 1,000 female staff were being discriminated against on pay.

He said an equal pay survey of 2,000 staff had revealed the pay gap of £4,500 at NR.

"That is just an average figure, in some cases the gap is as high as £10,000," he added.

"This is completely unacceptable in a firm which receives the majority of its funding, £4 billion a year, from the taxpayer.

"We are determined to end women being treated as second class citizens in the rail industry when it comes to pay.

"NR should set an example to the rest of the industry, bearing in mind the Equal Pay Act became the law of the land more than 35 years ago."

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