Pay dispute looming on Tramlink?

Over the past few months we have seen pay disputes in the news on both Manchester Metrolink and Nottingham Express Transit and now it appears that London Tramlink could be the next to hit the headlines. The previous three year pay deal on London Tramlink expired in November 2021 and so a new deal is overdue but recent discussions between the ASLEF union and management at Tram Operations Limited seem to have reached an impasse leading to threats of a formal dispute looming.

The previous agreement gave drivers three years of inflation plus pay rises along with a reduction in the working week and this expired in November 2021 so negotiations for a new deal should by now be well advanced.

However, recent discussions between representatives from ASLEF and Tram Operations Limited – a subsidiary of First who have the contract until 2030 to operate Tramlink – have shown that both sides are way apart in their expectations of what a new deal may consist of.

A release from ASLEF states that management have refused to offer any pay rise claiming that current restrictions in TfL funding along with government restrictions on the rail industry means it isn’t possible to do so. Not only was no pay rise offered but its also said there would be no improvements to pensions or other benefits either.

A report is now due to be sent to the ASLEF Executive Committee and then next steps will be discussed with ASLEF members. Its not known for certain what these may be but with the two sides in this nowhere near each other it can be expected that this will end up being a major dispute until some compromise is reached.

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