TSSA accepts London Underground's (2019) pay offer

In kicking off the new year for 2020, an above inflation pay rise is finally agreed on behalf of all TSSA members across operational and non-operational grades in settlement of 2019 pay talks.

Having submitted our union’s pay claim early on and, agreeing to a schedule of planned meetings ahead of the pay anniversary date (1 April), it took eleven months of painstakingly slow talks held at ACAS to reach a final settlement.

When we first met, LU stated it was the company’s aim to achieve a negotiated deal as close to the pay anniversary date as practically possible. Clearly, that failed!

Here’s a recap

Two different pay offers were presented side by side in a letter sent earlier this month. Subsequently, TSSA called a meeting with all industrial reps held on 21 January.

The first offer, first introduced back in October, was previously rejected following a unanimous vote among your reps. Why? Because, although that 4-year offer included our demands for a shorter working week, LU removed RPI.

In Year 2 and 4 of that proposal, it stripped out increases linked to RPI to compensate a one-hour reduction. Whilst, RPI can go down as well as up TSSA have always pursued pay increases linked to RPI.

General opinion shared among members continues to be upheld. That, the proposal of a 60-minute reduction phased in over the length of the deal would hardly make a dent in your shift patterns in a typical working week.

Overstretched and under resourced LU continue to rely on the good will of our members to work excessive overtime just to keep stations open and trains moving. Their offer of Banked Rest Days (BRD) was vague over the practicalities of how it would be delivered and lacked member’s trust with LU stating it would be at management discretion. TSSA rejected that offer requesting further talks.

A meeting held at ACAS on 19 December then led to an 'alternative' offer they tabled alongside the offer we rejected.

Having canvassed the views of members beforehand, the collective viewpoint among your reps led to a majority vote in favour of the 'alternative' offer.

That offer, now agreed in principal, locks in RPI plus 0.2% in every year with no reduction in the working week. It remains our ambition to pursue a shorter working week in line with our union’s policy but not against the terms as previously offered in this pay round.

Your reps have agreed to meet and discuss this ongoing issue with a view to planning how we might achieve our aims taking a different path. A shorter working week to 32 hours remains very much on our radar.

The other elements of the agreed pay offer include:

  • A minimum increase of £750 in year 1;
  • Medical Assistance Programme extended to all LU employees;
  • Flexible working/Smart Working issue to be tabled for discussion at MATS/Managers Council commenced in November (2019);
  • Neurodiversity and family friendly policies to be tabled for discussion at Diversity and Inclusion Forum on 29 January;
  • Pay offer backdated to pay anniversary date of 1 April 2019.

TSSA's cautionary terms

Whilst, the Pay Offer has been agreed in principle, it has been done on the proviso that TSSA reserves the right to revisit talks whilst they remain open and until such time as all parties enter into one pay agreement. In the absence of any agreement reached and, in the event, talks continue and/or any enhanced offers perhaps tabled with other unions in furtherance of an agreement, this would extend to TSSA members also.

Until such time all parties have signed up to a common pay agreement, TSSA has the right to revoke our principal agreement at any time to receive parity with others ensuring no detriment is served upon members of our union. TSSA has the right to attend any future meetings irrespective of our principal agreement.

Rightly our members have been frustrated over the length of time it has taken to achieve a reasonable pay offer. We trust this will get closed off soon so that members get their back pay and to help free up your negotiating team so they can address other priority workplace issues. We will keep you abreast of any further developments. 

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