London Underground (LU) bosses have tabled a new pay offer to the Tube unions in a bid to get the Night Tube running after the service's launch was set back amid a row over pay and work conditions. Managers have said they will no longer give drivers a £200 ($301) bonus per shift and have revealed that they will draft in part-time train operators to work the weekend shifts.
All workers will be in for a one-off £500 bonus as the new service is launched, and the updated settlement proposal would see the employees given a Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation linked pay hike plus 0.25% in the fourth year of the Night Tube, according to the Press Association. The previous offer of an averaged 2% salary rise and RPI-linked hike in years two or three will stay the same.
The move comes after further talks between the unions (RMT, TSSA, Aslef and Unite) and LU at work mitigation service Acas. The latest batch of negotiations started after the Night Tube missed its 12 September launch date because of the industrial dispute. The row is also expected to push into 2016 the launch date of the new service, which will run across four main lines.
"We have listened to union feedback and have made absolute guarantees which mean no existing driver will have to work the Night Tube unless they choose to do so. Instead we will hire part-time train drivers specifically to run the service," said Steve Griffiths, the chief operating officer of LU.
"We have also been working hard to secure a long-term pay deal in order provide certainty for our staff and for London, so we are now adding a fourth year to the deal. This does not come at any additional cost to the taxpayer as it will be covered by our business plan. The first three years of the deal remain unchanged."
The unions told IBTimes UK that they would consider the fresh deal. Aslef, which represents a majority of drivers on the network and has raised concerns about shift patterns, revealed they still had reservations.
"We will consider the offer but it still doesn't deliver on any of the commitments on improvements in work/life balance our members have been asking for," Finn Brennan, a negotiator for Alsef, said. "[The new deal] simply offers work-streams on changes, not a guarantee that they will happen."
Mick Cash, the general secretary of the RMT, added: "Any new offer from LU will be considered by RMT reps and the union's executive in the usual manner. Attempts to put pressure on the process by trying to negotiate through the media is decidedly unhelpful at this time."