LU has now issued its “full and final” offer in the ongoing pay talks. The first thing to note is that “full and final” is meaningless jargon. The offer's only final when we accept it, or we give up the fight to improve it!
They're offering a four-year deal, with RPI + 0.2%, or £750 (whichever is higher), in year one, 1.4% plus a 30-minute reduction in the working week in year two, RPI + 0.2% in year three, and 1.4% plus a 30-minute reduction in the working week in year four. The bosses calculate that this reduction in the working week would equate to six additional banked rest days.
Remember: our demand is for a 32-hour week. We should be aiming for something more like an additional rest day every week, not one every two months! We also can't accept pay increases of 1.4% which are likely to be below inflation.
Tubeworker has been arguing for some time that our unions should have launched ballots for action. LU is not going to make meaningful concessions except under the pressure of action, so why the delay?
We've got a challenge ahead of us in terms of clearing the thresholds of the anti-union laws, but we should take courage from the fact that our last all-grades ballot, conducted in 2015 before the thresholds were implemented, would've cleared them had they been in place.
The longer we delay in balloting, the more we send signals of weakness and lack-of-confidence both to the employer and our own membership. If we want to win a better deal, we have to take action. It's a simple as that.