Passenger walking next to trainEPA

Train drivers are to strike on 1 and 3 February after union bosses rejected a pay offer from rail companies.

Drivers had been offered a 4% pay rise for two years in a row earlier this month in a bid to end a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

But the pay deal hinged on several changes to working practices.

Aslef said the proposal was “not and could not ever be acceptable”, but its general secretary Mick Whelan said the union was open to further talks.

“Not only is the offer a real-terms pay cut, with inflation running north of 10%, but it came with so many conditions attached that it was clearly unacceptable. They want to rip up our terms and conditions in return for a real-terms pay cut,” he said.

The fresh strike action by drivers comes after a series of large-scale rail strikes, with other rail workers, such as guards and signalling staff in the RMT union walking out in recent months.

The offer, the first in the dispute to be made by the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train companies, would have seen drivers get a backdated pay rise of 4% for 2022 and a 4% increase this year.

The Rail Delivery Group had said the deal would have seen the average salary for a driver increase from £60,000 per year to £65,000 by the end of 2023. Ten years ago it was £44,985.

Source: BBC

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