Train driver salaries

ended 27. July 2022

A journalist at the Daily Mail is writing a story comparing the salaries of public sector workers to those of train drivers to look at the large disparity between the two. He's keen to know if any HR or recruitment experts would be able to explain why train drivers have such high salaries in comparison? He'd be interested in some commentary on the reasons behind this historically. Is it simply because they are so well unionised, or are there other factors? Any help or insights appreciated.


3 responses from the Newspage community

Star Quote
Where private sector operators are running public sector services that’s manifesting itself in the pay and conditions that train drivers are receiving in comparison to their wider public sector peers. On the one hand, they have the rights, pensions and union strength of the public sector; on the other they have the competition, market prices and flexibility of the private sector. The upshot is they can use the public sector safety net to drive up the private sector prices: a lethal combination for train operator margins as we’ve seen recently.
In any profession, where a skill set is niche and the numbers of those qualified is low, salaries will always be higher. If businesses (including rail companies) wanted to reduce salaries in these niche areas, they need to train more talent into the roles. Volume in any walk of life reduces costs and is one of the reasons our People Shared Service Management Company is growing, as SMEs struggle to keep up with salary expectations outside of a shared workforce environment. The cost of living crisis is holding a candle to the salaries of those in niche roles, we only have to look at the bonuses and salaries of CEO's and other leaders to show the disparity between the 'Doers' and the 'Directors'. In my opinion, this is not the fault of the Unions, but of our society, hierarchy, class and the actions of our 'Leaders'. A complete organisational restructure is required across UK business to unlock growth and fair access to well paid work.
It's not rocket science, if an organisation is getting into financial difficulty then cost cutting or increasing prices are the options. If you have put the prices up to the point that your customers can barely afford to travel even on reduced hybrid working arrangements, then what are the alternatives? Usually you consult with employees for ideas and make decisions together, damage limitation for all concerned. In this situation the RMT Union are acting like bullies and living in the dark ages when employment law didn't protect the worker as it does today. How can Mick Lynch say "Trade unions don't have enough power" when his Unions actions will cause utter chaos to millions.