Train strike: How much are rail workers paid?

Rail strikes: Grant Shapps says industry is ‘not badly paid’

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About 40,000 workers are taking part in strike action on June 21, 23 and 25, but how much do they actually earn? Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said yesterday in a Sky News interview that the rail sector is “not a badly paid industry”.

How much are train drivers paid?

The average salary for train and tram drivers in 2021 was £59,189, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.

That puts them well ahead of workers such as nurses, whose average salary is £31,093.

While the average salary for care workers and home care workers is £16,502.

But those figures don’t paint the full picture and train drivers are often some of the highest paid on the railway.

Train drivers have their own union called Aslef which has more than 21,000 members working on train operators and the London Underground.

Aslef train drivers are not taking part in the national strike but they do have a strike of their own taking place this week, with its Greater Anglia drivers striking on June 23.

Railway staff such as assistants and cleaners earn much less than train drivers, and many of these are taking part in the national strike this week.

What is the average salary for railway workers?

Mr Shapps said the overall media pay for railway workers is £44,000, but this figure is disputed.

RMT believes this to be too high and said the actual amount is about £33,000.

Figures obtained by the BBC from the Department for Transport showed that Rail travel assistants earn about £33,000 per year.

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Rail construction and maintenance operatives make around £35,000 per year and transport operators, which includes signallers and drivers’ assistants, make £49,000 a year.

The Office for National Statistics puts the median salary for all railway workers at £43,747.

In a statement published yesterday, the RMT reiterated that the strike action is a result of a “massive attack” on its members over pay and conditions.

It said most of its members had had a real-terms pay cut through salary freezes, and thousands had lost jobs across the railway network.

The strike action is expected to bring most of the UK’s railways to a standstill with operators running reduced services across the country.

Trains are still running with backup staff brought in to plug the gaps opened up by striking workers, but services will be very busy.

Delays and cancellations are expected throughout the week and passengers are being warned only to travel via train this week if it is essential.

Services on the days before and after the strike are also going to be impacted and passengers should check if their train is cancelled before travelling.

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