West Midlands Metro staff accept up to 20.1% pay deal

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Crew members employed by West Midlands Metro have called off strike action after accepting an improved pay offer.

Under the pay deal, existing tram crew with 12 months or longer of service will receive a 20.1% pay increase by April 2023, with 15% of it backdated to June 2022. New tram crew will see their wages rise by 13.7% by April 2023 and all other grades will receive a 10.5% pay increase.

The deal will also see the pay anniversary date, which is when pay increases are due to be paid, move forward from June to April, while the employer has additionally committed to a tram crew pay review in the summer of 2023.

A total of 170 tram drivers and customer representatives, who are part of the union Unite, began strike action in mid-October. Employees on £21,939 were seeking a pay rate of £27,000, while those on other grades wanted a £5,000 increase from £21,537 per annum. They stated that the action was in response to their employer offering them a one-off payment of £300 in April 2023 to resolve the dispute.

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A West Midlands Metro spokesperson said: “West Midlands Metro is pleased that the members of Unite union have accepted our enhanced pay offer and called off any further industrial action. We are now looking forward to working together to provide the best possible service to customers as we head towards the festive season and future expansion. A full service will resume.”

Sharon Graham, Unite’s general secretary, added: “This is a well-deserved win for workers who were prepared to take a stand against low pay and who through standing together secured a vastly improved pay deal. Unite is now entirely committed to fighting for the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and this victory for the West Midlands Metro workers demonstrates that this strategy is delivering for union members.”