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UK rail union agrees pay deal, drops threat of more strikes

Published February 24,2023

Members of one of the rail unions involved in a series of strikes in Britain sparked by the cost-of-living crisis have voted to accept pay offers from train companies.

Other unions however have announced fresh action in the coming weeks.

The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) said its 3,000 members had voted overwhelmingly in favour of deals that include a two-year pay rise worth nine percent.

The result means ballots for any further strikes will be withdrawn, the union said.

The stoppages were part of a wave of industrial action that has included nurses, ambulance staff, teachers and civil servants. They have all clashed with the government, which insists the country cannot afford inflation-busting pay hikes.

The TSSA decision came as doctors in England announced they would go on strike for three days next month.

The British Medical Association (BMA) said doctors had "no option" but to strike from March 13, having voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action earlier this month.

The BMA represents all doctors except the most senior ones, known as consultants. The strikes will be staged by so-called junior doctors, a term that covers hospital doctors who are not consultants.

A TSSA spokesman said of their vote: "This is a clear decision from our members which will end our long-running dispute -- something which could have happened months ago had it not been for Government intransigence."

Their members' action had won a "significantly improved pay deal... commitments for no compulsory redundancies" and other concessions, he added.

The TSSA is just one of the rail unions whose members have taken industrial action in recent weeks. ASLEF and the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) have also staged strikes.

The RMT is expected to push ahead with its plans to hold four days of walkouts over the next two months, starting on March 16.