RMT has submitted its pay claim to TubeLines, and TubeLines has responded. So the opening skirmishes will begin.
RMT has asked for a one-year deal and a 'substantial' pay rise for staff. It is the general practice of the union not to put a figure on its pay claims. Tubeworker tends to think that it would be better if it did, so that the workforce knows what it is fighting for, and can see if the union is trying to sell it short. Which, we suspect, is why the union bureaucracy prefers the vague term 'substantial'!
TubeLines wants a two-year deal, and has offered a small fraction over RPI for each of the two years. Obviously, this is some kind of joke, designed to make the company look good when it increases the offer (which it doubtless will).
Here at Tubeworker, we share RMT's preference for a one-year deal. We wouldn't rule out a two-year deal, but if the employer is going to get industrial peace for two years, then it has to give us something really worthwhile.
We reckon that TubeLines' own boss has set the benchmark for this year's pay rise. Chief Executive Terry Morgan is getting an 18% increase on his £500,000 salary. And the company milks over £1m profit from the Tube every week. Perhaps they are under the illusion that it is bosses who do the work and generate the wealth. Er, no - it's the workers.