Opinion: London Underground drivers do not deserve £50k a year pay

12:06 06 October 2011

Have your say on what you think about the new pay deal for Tube staff

Have your say on what you think about the new pay deal for Tube staff


Unions have been boasting of their strength after securing a pay deal for Tube staff which appears to be heavily weighted in their members’ favour.

In contrast, London Underground appears rather meek and ineffective, despite also declaring itself pleased with the deal.

If approved, the settlement will give Tube staff a whopping five per cent pay increase this year, far exceeding what most other people can expect, followed by a healthy rise in the next three years.

That’s on the top of drivers being paid extra to work during the Olympics.

Tube unions have shown their willingness to call for walk-outs at the drop of a hat and perhaps it was this ever-present threat which made LU keen to finally strike a deal, with the Olympics looming large and previous offers having been rejected.

Tellingly the new deal only offers the “prospect” rather than a guarantee of no strikes over pay so unions could accept this sweet deal and still cause havoc with industrial action further down the line.

I like Tube drivers generally. They get me to and from work and a few on the Jubilee line have future careers in comedy, judging by their PA announcements. But are they worth £52,000 a year (what they potentially could be earning by 2015), around double the national average wage?

I don’t think they are, and I wish transport bosses had played a tougher game to put unions in their place and get a better deal for Londoners.

Do you agree with me? Is the Tube pay deal good for London? Do Tube drivers deserve to earn more than £50,000 a year? Have the unions bullied transport bosses into making this deal? Add your comments below and vote in our poll.

Meanwhile, do you have strong views on a London issue? If so submit an opinion article (300 words maximum) and it could get used here on London24.com and possibly published in newspapers around London.

Email me at simon.bull@archant.co.uk

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