London Underground workers set for bumper pay rise from cash-strapped Transport for London

Tube passengers are facing an inflation-busting fares increase, but for Tube workers the week just got a lot better.

Tube workers in London are set for a massive pay rise which could see their salaries increase more than 8%. The increase is expected to cost Londoners as much as £100m.

Cash-strapped Transport for London is locked into a four-year deal with the unions. It guarantees an inflation-busting RPI+0.2% pay hike.

The April increase will be based on February’s Retail Price Increase which is expected to exceed the January figure of 7.8%.

In an interview with ITV News, London mayor Sadiq Khan defended the pay agreement, which began in 2019.

"When you make a deal you've got to stick by that deal because if you don't, what confidence can either side have in relation to future deals done?" Mr Khan said.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan wears a mask as he rides on a Circle Line train

Underground staff were given a 2% pay rise in 2021 even though inflation was 1.4%. A clause in the agreement guarantees a minimum increase of 2%.

Around 15,000 Underground workers are entitled to the pay uplift.

"We will shortly be entering the fourth year of the pay agreement covering staff on London Underground contracts," Transport for London said.

"This binding agreement was made before anyone could have predicted the pandemic’s effects on our finances or the 30 year high inflationary levels that we are now experiencing," the statement added.

Tube train drivers currently earn an average salary of £58,949 for a 35 hour week.

An insider at the train drivers’ union Aslef said the pay award: "shows the importance of being in a trade Union."

An Aslef statement added: "We are three years into a four year deal and the Mayor of London is doing the right thing by sticking with a deal, agreed in good faith, by both sides.

The final year, from this April, is RPI plus 0.2 % [based on the February RPI rate published in March].

"Which means that Tube train drivers who worked throughout the pandemic to keep the capital moving will not suffer a real-term cut in wages as prices soar."

London Underground’s parent body Transport for London needed more than £5bn in Goverment bailouts after lockdown and working from home destroyed its income from fares.

The latest interim funding agreement is due to end at midnight on Friday.

Officials from TfL and the Department for Transport have been locked in talks for weeks to try to agree long-term funding for London’s transport system.

TfL has is asking for £1.2bn of Treasury cash this year to pay for essential repairs and upgrades.

The mayor has warned of ‘managed decline’ if the money is refused. 

More than 100 bus routes would be axed, Tube services cut by 10% and orders for new trains cancelled.