Aslef train drivers accept Southern rail deal
10 November 2017
ASLEF drivers have accepted a proposed resolution to the long-running dispute with Southern Railways.
The following question was put to driver members employed by Southern. Do you accept the proposed agreement between GTR and ASLEF?
Yes: 731 [79.1%]
No: 193 [20.9%]
Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, said: ‘Our members on Southern, after careful consideration, and long and hard negotiations, have voted to accept this resolution to our industrial dispute with the company. We are pleased with a resolution which, we believe, works for the staff, and the company, and we now look forward to working with Southern Rail to restore good industrial relations and deliver the service passengers in the region deserve.’
The resolution to this dispute, which began in April last year, deals with three outstanding issues. In separate, but parallel, talks, negotiating team discussed three different issues – the industrial dispute, terms and conditions, and pay.
Mick said: ‘The agreement means we will have a second safety-trained person on every train covered by this agreement except in exceptional circumstances. That person will have all the relevant safety competence – including the skills to evacuate passengers in an emergency.
‘The agreement also confirms the terms and conditions under which our members at Southern are employed.
‘And the agreement gives our drivers the security of a five-year pay deal, which covers the October 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 pay settlements, through to the end of the franchise.’
The resolution accepted by drivers on Southern Railways applies only to that company and that franchise.
Mick added: ‘It’s important to stress that this deal is company-specific and does not have implications for any other train operating company on Britain’s railway network. Since the break-up of British Rail and the privatisation of our railway we have negotiated on a bi-lateral basis with each company and that is what we have done here. After one and a half years of industrial strife we wanted to find a way forward for our members who work on the railway in this region, for the passengers who use Southern trains, and for the businesses which depend on the service, as well as for the company, too. This deal is a resolution to an 18 month long dispute. It is not a template for Britain’s railway in the 21st century.’