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Virgin Trains East Coast: 2016 Pay Claim

4 May 2016

The first meeting to discuss the 2016 pay claim took place with Virgin Trains East Coast yesterday. The meeting concluded without any opening offer being made by the Company, which is especially concerning at a time when there is much media speculation over its current financial performance.

Pay negotiating meetings should be attended by all recognised trade unions, but once again the Company has decided to meet with ASLEF to discuss Driver's pay separately. This is extremely disappointing, especially as we were given an assurance by the Company that last year was a “one-off”, and they remain committed to the agreed process of single table bargaining for pay and other major terms and conditions. However, actions speak louder than words, and against this background rumours of a multi-year inflation-busting pay deal for Drivers to buy the smooth introduction of new trains and technology are hard to ignore. We took the opportunity to stress our objections to this approach, and stated quite clearly that we will not accept a situation that ignores the many challenges facing our members and results in them once again being the poor relations to another group of staff.

It is now unlikely that a further meeting will take place before early June as the Company said they needed more time to consider the union's claims, despite the fact that TSSA's claim was submitted on your behalf three weeks before the date of the meeting and our sister union's claims contained nothing that should have come as a surprise. This certainly was not a good start to the 2016 pay negotiations, and you have every right to expect more from a Company who states that one of its core values is “being fair and honest, straight talking and straight forward”. Further updates will follow in due course.

If you require any further information on the contents of this article, please contact your staff reps in the first instance. Please also discuss the contents of this article with your colleagues, and encourage any non-members to join. The more members we have, the stronger we are. Membership application forms can be obtained from your TSSA reps or you can join on-line here.

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