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Virgin Trains East Coast: 2016 Pay Claim Update

29 June 2016

A further meeting took place on Monday to discuss the 2016 pay claim following our rejection of the Company's offer of a "no strings" 1.3% increase as previously reported. The Company had agreed to consider our counter proposal for a 2.5% (or £600 whichever is the greater) increase to basic pay and allowances. In response, the Company made a revised offer of a 1.55% (or £275 whichever is the greater) increase. Whilst we appreciate the minimum increase of £275 would benefit approximately 88 of the lowest paid staff, the offer fell short of our expectations and was rejected by the unions.

After some discussion and a short break, the Company made a further revised offer of a 1.7% (or £325 whichever was the greater) increase. They explained that the minimum increase of £325 would benefit around 100 of the lowest paid employees. We took the opportunity to remind them that another grade group had already rejected a 2% offer, and we are aware of a number of other employers in the industry making offers of at least 2% this year. As such, 1.7% is not acceptable and the Company was advised that the minimum offer which could be recommended to members was a 2% (or £400 whichever was the greater) increase to basic pay and allowances. Further discussion took place culminating in a revised offer being made by the Company of a 1.8% (or £375 whichever was the greater) increase. We reiterated our previous position that 2% (or £400 whichever was the greater) was the minimum that could be recommended to our members, and the Company said they needed to consider this further and come back to us at the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday 6th July.

Whilst we appreciate there has been some progress, it is painfully slow. A number of other employers have been keen to resolve pay as quickly as possible this year, with at least one making an opening offer of 2% in the first meeting! Virgin’s approach couldn’t be more different, and it’s high time they recognised the significant contribution of their staff by making a fair offer so we can all move on and deal with the many challenges ahead. We will of course keep you updated of any developments.

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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