Manchester Metrolink staff accept 6.5% pay rise

Manchester Metrolink pay rise
Credit: Zhao Zheming /

More than 600 Manchester Metrolink employees have accepted a 6.5% pay rise, ending an ongoing dispute and threat of strike action.

The workers, who are members of trade union Unite, will also receive a £1,000 one-off payment as part of the deal, which is worth more than 9% for many.

According to the Unite, the dispute was due to Metrolink’s original pay offer of 5% for a 15-month period, which was lower than the real inflation rate of 11.4% at the time of the ballot. Unite and its members were also unhappy about the employer wanting to move the annual date when pay rates are due to increase from 1 January to 1 April, effectively delaying pay rises.

Unite stated that Metrolink’s management had refused to enter into further negotiations on pay since the end of March. As a result, it balloted its members for industrial action, with 95% recording a yes vote on an 84% turnout in favour of strike action.

Industrial action was due to take place on 10-11 June, but was then suspended following the improved offer to allow workers to vote on the deal.

Metrolink customer service relations, also known as inspectors, have a £20,000 per annum starting salary, with drivers’ salaries beginning at £22,000 and engineers’ starting at £26,000.

Sharon Graham, Unite’s general secretary, said: “Our members at Metrolink by standing together in unity left the employer with no option but to return to the negotiating table and make an improved offer. This is a further example of how Unite’s total focus on the jobs, pay and conditions is paying direct financial dividends for its members.”

Manchester Metrolink was contacted for comment prior to publication.