St Pancras station strike sign

UK: Members of the TSSA trade union have voted to accept offers made by train operating companies in the long-running dispute over pay, job security and conditions.

An online ballot of more than 3 000 TSSA members working in management, station, control, engineering, clerical and customer service roles saw 80% of management grade and 60% of general grade members vote to accept the offers, with 57% of affected members voting.

TSSA received two formal offers following negotiations with the Rail Delivery Group on behalf of the train companies.

Train operating companies involved
Avanti West Coast, c2c, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Govia Thameslink Railway, Greater Anglia, Great Western Railway, LNER, Northern, Southeastern, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express, West Midlands Trains.

There is a two-year pay deal covering 2022-23 and 2023-24 which provides for a 5% increase or a minimum increase of £1 750, whichever is the greater in year 1, and a further 4% increase in year 2.

There will also be no compulsory redundancies within the grades directly affected by workforce changes from the date of the agreement until December 31 2024. This covers all station-based grades, all onboard grades including catering and train-crew, all administration grades and all fleet & engineering grades. All revenue protection and train service controller grades will be regarded as in scope for the purposes of the no compulsory redundancies commitment.

A voluntary redundancy scheme offering the terms set out under a 2021 framework agreement will provide employees with the opportunity to leave the industry should they wish to apply to do so.

TSSA will now enter into discussions with employers on the detail of implementation. ‘This is a clear decision from our members which will end our long-running dispute — something which could have happened months ago had it not been for government intransigence’, the union said on February 24.

For the operators, RDG said the proposals ’set out reforms that will support funding of the pay increases, put the industry on a sustainable footing and equip it to meet the changing needs of our customers’.

There will be ’a new multi-skilled station role, with station staff trained and better equipped to take on a range of responsibilities aimed at better meeting the needs of customers’. TSSA said it continues to oppose the proposed closures of ticket offices.

RDG said new part-time contracts and flexible working rosters and patterns would ‘encourage a more diverse workforce that can fit shifts around other commitments’, while current voluntary working arrangements on Sundays will be formalised to meet rising demand for weekend travel services.