Ken had planned to get Tubes running on Friday and Saturday nights until 1am from May 2007. This is after a public consultatation which attracted 54,000 responses, with the majority in favour of the late night service. The changed timetable would have meant a boost London's "late night economy" (pubs, clubs & eateries). Although British Transport Police were gearing up to cope with the extra "business".
Ken offered what he claims to be an "incredibly generous" salary deal that guaranteed staff an extra three days annual leave. But both the RMT and Aslef have turned down the three year package which includes a four per cent initial pay increase and above-inflation increases in following years.
Livingstone is standing his ground and says of the offer "Two of the unions, TSSA and the British Transport Operators' Guild, put the proposed deal to their members who have overwhelmingly accepted it. TSSA members backed the deal with over 80 per cent of their members in favour.....
"ASLEF negotiators have rejected the offer we have made, including the three days’ extra holiday, without putting it to their members. ASLEF are asking for more pay in return for working half an hour later.
"The extra holiday offered to drivers to compensate for the unsocial hours caused by later running on Fridays and Saturdays is an extremely reasonable offer. I believe that if ASLEF and the RMT were to put this offer to their members there would be considerable support for it.
"I have no intention of increasing it. We want to introduce late running and I remain committed to it but we cannot do it at any price for Londoners. If the price is too high it is better to suspend it for the present.."
Of course Bob Crow from the RMT isn't taking this lightly and said "It is the mayor who has insisted on a link between last year's pay rise and late-night running, not RMT. It is now three weeks since the mayor told us he would get Tim O'Toole around the table with us to thrash out a solution, and that has still not happened."
"All we want to do is sit down and negotiate the pay rise that our members have been waiting more than ten months for. RMT warned the mayor two months ago that plans for late-night running were in disarray thanks to LUL's insistence on linking them with the pay round, and it is preposterous to try to place the blame elsewhere."
Well I wouldn't say no to three extra days holiday for working half an hour later for two nights. Any thoughts? If there's any RMT or ASLEF members around it would be particularly interesting to hear your views, especially as TSSA and BTOG are both in favour of the deal.