England

Aslef union members announce new Southern overtime ban

Southern trains Image copyright PA

Southern rail passengers face fresh disruption to their journeys from the end of this month after the train drivers' union Aslef confirmed it will be introducing a new overtime ban.

A ban had been due to start on 4 June but was postponed while fresh talks were held.

It will now begin from 00:01 BST on 29 June, with no definitive end date.

After the announcement, Southern's parent company revealed it had offered staff a four-year pay deal worth 23.8%.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) said the offer would take a driver's base salary from £49,001 to £60,683 for the existing 35-hour, four-day week.

The overtime ban is set to affect Southern drivers across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

'Disappointing'

Mick Whelan, general secretary of Aslef, said: "We have been talking to the company over the last fortnight in parallel, but separate, talks about drivers' terms and conditions, industrial relations and pay.

"The company's failure to engage over driver only operation (DOO) is the reason our members will no longer work overtime - which, of course, is entirely voluntary.

"By giving the company another fortnight, we had hoped to avoid industrial action because industrial action is always the last resort; we would much rather talk and negotiate around a table than take industrial action."

Aslef and the RMT union have been in a long-running dispute with Southern and its parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) over the roles of train staff.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The dispute has been ongoing for more than a year

GTR replaced conductors with "on-board supervisors" to work across some services, with extra responsibility - including the closing of train doors - switching to the drivers.

A spokesman for GTR said: "The Aslef leadership has twice accepted the extension of driver-controlled operation and asked us this time to package it up with a pay deal.

"We've made a very generous offer that in four years would take a driver's base salary to £60,683 for the existing 35-hour, four-day week, so we find this threat of an overtime ban surprising and extremely disappointing."

Talks between Southern and the RMT union over the change of roles of guards to on-board-supervisors were adjourned last month.

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