Merseyrail staff given 7.1% pay rise on eve of rail strikes

Rail workers in Liverpool have been given a 7.1 per cent pay rise in a deal which will pile pressure on train companies ahead of the second day of nationwide strikes.

Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association members accepted the pay offer from Merseyrail on Wednesday as seperate talks between RMT leaders and rail bosses broke down.

The union’s general secretary Manuel Cortes described it as “a sensible outcome to a reasonable offer” and called on transport secretary Grant Shapps to “wise up” and enter into negotiations with unions as strikes loom.

TSSA members in Merseyrail include station retailers, customer relations assistants, lead revenue protection officers, train crew admin assistants, driver managers, guards standards managers, stations managers, service production managers, resource controllers and train service delivery managers.

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA union (Nick Ansell/PA)

Mr Cortes said: “Well done to our members and to our union staff for clinching this deal at Merseyrail. It is a sensible outcome to a reasonable offer which goes a long way towards keeping pace with the escalating cost of living.

“What we have seen in our negotiations with Merseyrail is a company which knows the value of our rail and transport network, both to the public and the workers.

“What this clearly shows is our union, and sister unions, are in no way a block on finding the solutions needed to avoid a summer of discontent on the railways. Rather, it is the government who are intent on digging in their heels.

“The offer from Merseyrail will demonstrate to the entire country that ministers are set on a course of needless and nonsensical intransigence which benefits no one.

“Transport secretary Grant Shapps and co would be wise to wake up and start talking seriously to our union as we ballot for industrial action on our railways up and down the land.”

TSSA has held industrial action ballots with staff at eight other rail companies in a dispute over pay, job security and terms and conditions.

Millions of rail passengers across Britain face disruption on Thursday on the second day of RMT’s strikes.

Rail services are being severely disrupted this week after around 40,000 members of the union, working for Network Rail and 13 train operators, voted to stage walkouts.

Douglas Mateo

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