Railways: Pay

Department for Transport written question – answered on 22nd October 2018.

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Photo of Andy McDonald Andy McDonald Shadow Secretary of State for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what comparative risk assessment he has made of (a) imposing and (b) negotiating changes to the measure of inflation used for rail industry pay negotiations.

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (Department for Transport), Minister of State (London)

In August, the Secretary of State for Transport wrote to the Rail Delivery Group and to the trades unions, asking them to adopt CPI, and not RPI, as the basis for inflation when negotiating wage deals. As you know, CPI is the more widely used and reliable measure of inflation.

This would be a significant step in ensuring that costs in the rail industry do not rise faster than ticket prices. It will help to ensure that the railway is affordable for the fare paying and tax paying public for decades to come, while making sure that those who work on the railway continue to receive fair reward. Of course, pay negotiations and the settlements reached by individual employers and trade unions remain a matter for local collective bargaining.

In his letter to the trades unions the Secretary of State invited them to meet with the Rail minister so this might be discussed further.

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