Merseyrail: Derisory Pay offer!

Photo of money showing notes and coins

Your TSSA negotiators have now had 5 meetings to Negotiate the general grades pay with Merseyrail, during these talks the company requested that we keep talks confidential until they were concluded, and we have respected that request.

Our initial meeting was purely to go over our pay claims and no offer was made by the company, in the second meeting the company offered 4.5% with a second option of increasing overtime payments to Time and a half which the company advised was worth 3.9% and would have brought the offer down to 0.95%, in the third meeting the company offered 5.2% with an underpin or minimum annual pay rise of £1350 which would benefit anyone on a salary of £24,000 or lower.

Overall, TSSA have consistently reminded the company that they have given a pay rise of 17% to Drivers, the company’s argument for this is that it is linked to the introduction of the new 777 fleet, we have reminded them that all staff have and will contribute to this introduction.

The relevant inflation month that we look at for your April anniversary date is Februarys Retail Prices index which sat at 13.8% and is significantly higher than last year. Meanwhile Mortgage costs and rent have continued to increase with Energy and food costs still incredibly high for our members.

On the 4th meeting held on 25 May 2023 the company’s opening position was an offer of 6.1% headline increase or £1600 whichever is greater with no strings.

Your negotiators made the point that Inflation was far higher this year than last year and so our expectation is that the pay offer would be better, than last year. We did suggest that they could consider a multiyear deal, but the second year would need to be RPI + to make it worthwhile for us to recommend to members.

During the talks we also asked questions of the company about why they haven’t published their latest set of accounts on companies house which you can access here we were advised the delay was because of the  sale of Abelio’s UK Rail and Bus Operations.

The company went away to reconsider, and we reconvened the 5th meeting on 10 July 2023

Despite the representations we had made pushing for a higher pay award than you received last year the company came back with what they described as their final no strings pay offer for one year. They explained they weren’t prepared to consider a 2-year deal that was protected by RPI + inflation in the second year. The pay offer they outlined was as follows:

6.5% headline increase with a minimum payment of £1750 which would mean those currently on a salary of £24,000 or less would receive a higher increase than the headline 6.5%.

This table gives an overall comparison of last years deal compared to this year’s current offer:

Year% pay offerMinimum paymentRelevant Inflation figure (February Retail Prices Index – RPI)Driver grades pay
20236.5% (0.6% less than last year)£175013.8% (5.6% more than last year)17% (11.5% more than the offer made to you!)

Unfortunately, this offer:

  1. Isn’t anything close to the relevant Inflation linked to the anniversary date of the offer (13.8%).
  2. Isn’t even half of the pay rise awarded to Drivers this year! (17%)
  3. Doesn’t even match what you were paid last year when inflation was almost 6% lower! (7.1%)

Therefore, we cannot legitimately do anything other than put this out to members with a recommendation to reject the pay offer as it fails to meet any of our aspirations on pay, ultimately you will decide what happens next in terms of this pay offer so when you receive your referendum information, please ensure that you vote! We will send out more information about how members can vote in the pay referendum shortly.

In the meantime, please do the following:

  • Do all you can to encourage your colleagues to join TSSA if they aren’t already a member, they can easily join TSSA online
  • Ensure your membership details are up to date and correct by logging into “MyTSSA” (home address, workplace, Job title, Contact information etc). You can log in by clicking here or if you’ve never registered before you can do so by clicking here and following the instructions.
  • If you are interested in getting more involved in TSSA then please email Alan Valentine