Blog: LUL Believes They Should Pay Top Earners More

The RMT has made a number of proposals to London Underground of alternatives to job cuts and ticket office closures. All of these have been rejected by the company. One issue raised was bosses pay. In 2012/13, TfL paid 328 people more than £100k. RMT calculate that if this was capped at £100k, £15m would be saved per year.

In response to our proposal, London Underground wrote to the RMT to defend the bosses high pay, citing ‘total annual pay, ‘Long-term incentives’ and ‘Total Direct Compensation’ to name a few. TfL told us they believe that their managers are probably not paid enough:

“TfL has no reason to believe that there is any ‘over-inflation’ in the pay packages for senior staff – if anything the reverse is correct.”

The letter goes on to say:

“If these pay packages were to be reduced...TfL would run the risk of appointing people without the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to fully carry out the roles.”

However, LUL is cutting the pay of frontline operational grades - but at the same time planning to ‘up-skill' many of these workers as their responsibilities and workload increase. This demonstrates well the attitude that senior management have towards workers - ie the belief that paying the top earners (themselves) more ensures quality, yet front-line staff should be paid much less than at present, and be expected to do more work.

Meanwhile, another TfL document reveals concerns about director development:

“Director Development has been inconsistent across TfL with no common view of ‘what good looks like’ at this level.”

If LUL don’t know ‘what looks good’ with regards to developing directors, it throw the claim that paying these people less “would run the risk of [us] appointing people without the necessary knowledge, skills and experience” into doubt. How can LUL claim they are getting good people for the money whilst at the same time saying they don’t know whether they are developing these people properly?

Another RMT demand was for LU to bring contracts back in house. In defence of their cleaning contracts London Underground wrote:

“The incumbent contractors pay in excess of the minimum wage and at or above the London Living Wage. The cleaning contractors also provide uniforms…”

“Cleaning provides entry level employment and a flexible launch pad into higher skilled opportunities.”

London Underground’s response to our proposals on cutting senior manager pay, is to defend it and suggest it isn't high enough to encourage the best (but not know whether they are getting the best), claim that cleaning contracts are good as people get £8.80 an hour and a uniform, whilst cutting the pay of front-line staff yet expecting more work from them.

This is what we have to fight. See you on the picket line.