Union members have accepted a pay offer from Merseyrail in a deal they have praised for being in keeping with the spiralling cost of living. The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) said the Merseyside rail operator’s offer was worth 7.1 percent.
General secretary Manuel Cortes described the deal as “a sensible outcome to a reasonable offer”.
Merseyrail said it met with trade union colleagues as “part of our normal annual pay negotiations”.
Speaking about the negotiations and its impact, Mr Brooks said: “This is a kind of fool to give more pay rises.
“We are already seeing a rise in inflation from the last six months. Where is this money coming from?
“I can’t just find money from thin air to give staff extra money.
“I love my staff, I don’t want anyone to leave, I want them to stay with me forever.
“But if the money is not there, now I would like to know where this money is coming from.”
While Mr Brooks had some sympathy for the strikers he ultimately blasted their action as “indefensible”.
He continued: “This is what the Government is trying, to put pressure on them and come to the table with other strikes.
“But I think not all the people seem to realise that these people are striking for their circumstances and I have respect for that.
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“But it’s a detriment for millions of others, what working class people, businesses, education, and hospital appointments, to me is indefensible.”
The pay deal comes after members from the rail union RMT walked out on Tuesday in the largest rail strike in decades over jobs, pay and conditions.
Andy Heath, Merseyrail managing director said: “Merseyrail is solely responsible for making such pay offers, working constructively with our trade unions.
“We are not part of the current national dispute that is taking place between the RMT, Network Rail and train-operating companies directly contracted to the Department for Transport (DfT).”
A DfT spokeswoman added: “The financing of the agreement that has been reached between the RMT and Merseyrail is a matter for them to explain to the people of Liverpool.
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“No additional taxpayers’ money will be spent on this cost increase.”
Sharing her point of view, broadcaster Ashley James said: “I think it’s not as binary as we would want to believe.
“Prices are rising by 9.1 percent a year- the highest in 40 years. The Bank of England said that it might reach 11 percent in months.
“These people aren’t asking above inflation and whilst there is a lot of outrage and by the way, I don’t think they are necessarily right, but let’s not forget that the MPs receive over £2000 pay rise this year.
“They already earn £84000 and they were outraged at the thought of their second jobs being banned.
“So, I do think there is a hypocrisy for these people who earn over £84,000 a year and by the way the average expenses and allowances last year was over £157000 which is up 6.5 percent a year before.
“So I think it’s very unfortunate that working class people are getting affected by this.
“But this is also why the trade unions are so important because they protect their working class people.
“And whilst I don’t agree with everything, I am happy to see Labour politicians supporting this.”