Why are drivers paid what they are?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by 404250, 23 Dec 2019.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. 404250

    404250 Member

    Messages:
    339
    Joined:
    25 May 2018
    Why are train drivers paid what most members of the public feel is a very high wage? Surely with so many applicants the jobs would be filled whatever the wage! Is it the unions?
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. Tio Terry

    Tio Terry Member

    Messages:
    817
    Joined:
    2 May 2014
    Location:
    Epsom
    Applicants are one thing, suitable applicants are another. Not ever applicant is suitable to become a driver.
     
  4. 14xxDave

    14xxDave Member

    Messages:
    154
    Joined:
    20 Oct 2011
    Location:
    Gateshead
    Really? :rolleyes:
     
  5. al78

    al78 Established Member

    Messages:
    1,447
    Joined:
    7 Jan 2013
    I am totally ignorant in the job requirements of any employee on the railway, but as a wild guess, I would say anti-social hours and high responsibility have some relation to the wage. I would think there is a skill factor as well, from what I have read on here, driving a train requires incredible knowledge of the route, involving considerable memory effort, I have doubts that I would be up to the job.
     
  6. Aivilo

    Aivilo Member

    Messages:
    552
    Joined:
    15 Jan 2014
    Location:
    Surrey
    Nobody wanted drivers jobs until papers started bashing railway workers and publishing salaries.

    Anyone can drive a train not everyone can be a train driver I'll leave it there
     
  7. Silverlinky

    Silverlinky Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2012
    Since privatisation it has become a competitive market.

    Its probably also true that Drivers get above RPI pay rises every year......certainly my company has been RPI +0.5% for the past few years.....

    A lot of the old enhancements were included in DRI deals too.

    Did a bit of digging.... Silverlink Drivers salary 2002 was £27,250
    WMT Drivers salary 2019 is £57,042
    %age increase= 109.3%

    True inflation 2002 to 2019 is 61.33%



    Very raw figures I know.....although when you factor in that the 2002 figure was a 37 hour week and the 2019 figure is for a 35 hour 4 day week, the true increase is higher still.

    Like I said though, its a competitive world out there......!
     
    Last edited: 23 Dec 2019
  8. Intermodal

    Intermodal Member

    Messages:
    1,059
    Joined:
    3 Nov 2010
    Location:
    England
    Nobody knows why they are paid what they are. It is genuinely a very easy job, just stop and go, don't even have to steer. If there's a red light don't go past it and if it's yellow go past it but slowly. Simples.
     
  9. talltim

    talltim Established Member

    Messages:
    2,246
    Joined:
    17 Jan 2010
    Privatisation has helped drivers’ pay packets no end. A fully trained driver is a precious commodity and the TOCs want to make sure they don’t go elsewhere. If they lose a driver then they either have to pay more than another TOC and poach a replacement, or spend a year training them.
     
  10. talltim

    talltim Established Member

    Messages:
    2,246
    Joined:
    17 Jan 2010
    Virgin drivers had to steer as well. That’s why they got the big bucks.
    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/train-crash-it-could-have-been-sabotage-7274004.html
     
  11. Tube driver

    Tube driver Member

    Messages:
    44
    Joined:
    7 Jan 2018
    Because we’re bloody fantastic and worth every penny!
     
  12. 404250

    404250 Member

    Messages:
    339
    Joined:
    25 May 2018
    a few serious responses so far, but not many...
     
  13. Dieseldriver

    Dieseldriver Member

    Messages:
    653
    Joined:
    9 Apr 2012
    Partially, I would say it is attributed to the union presence (bearing in mind most roles on the Railway pay a good salary). The job isn't an easy one though and it is inevitable that it would pay well. Erratic shift work, retention of large volumes of important information, lengthy training period (12 - 18 months usually), high level of responsibility and a high level of accountability (ask any Driver how it feels to have a safety of the line incident). Privatisation has pushed the wages up as there is now competition between the various companies to retain and attract Drivers and avoid the lengthy/financially heavy recruitment/training process needed to train up new Drivers.
    To be perfectly honest, even without the union presence, I don't believe it would be a particularly low paid job, no matter how many people with minimal knowledge try to belittle it.
     
  14. O L Leigh

    O L Leigh Established Member

    Messages:
    4,164
    Joined:
    20 Jan 2006
    In my view, train driving has shifted from being merely a job to a profession. The level of knowledge required in terms of the rules, routes and traction is extensive together with the responsibility that comes from being in charge at a remote location. The safety culture has also made it highly intolerant of mistakes, so we are expected to perform at 100% 100% of the time. Therefore we get paid at a somewhat higher rate than the general population in line with other professions. There is also a degree of recompense for the shift work and unsocial hours.

    Looking at bald figures can sometimes be a little misleading. Sometimes the basic salary looks high because all of the little pay enhancements for things like overtime and Sunday working have been consolidated into the basic pay as a result of pay deals struck down the years.
     
  15. Dieseldriver

    Dieseldriver Member

    Messages:
    653
    Joined:
    9 Apr 2012
    Your last paragraph is another thing people get the wrong idea about. Whenever I say to a non Railway person that I'm working at the weekend, or I'm on nights, or my alarm is set for 1am to go to work for a long dead early turn, they always say 'you must get additional payments for those hours'. We don't, they are consolidated into the salary. What you see, is what you earn, irrespective of what time of day you're working.
     
  16. 404250

    404250 Member

    Messages:
    339
    Joined:
    25 May 2018
    Great thanks. Last two were informative.
     
  17. Silverlinky

    Silverlinky Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2012

    Looking at it from another angle in some cases it has become easier......far fewer different forms of traction for some depots, far less faults and failure knowledge required (computer screens tell you how to fix the fault now!), fewer routes.......

    Some "old hands" tell stories of how they were on ballast trains one day, passenger services the next, throw in the odd newspaper train, container train etc. Now they drive the same one form of traction over the same route day in day out. The variety has gone....
     
  18. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

    Messages:
    2,496
    Joined:
    5 Nov 2014
    Because it is expensive to train them and the franchisee wants to keep them rather than pay to train more
     
  19. Dieseldriver

    Dieseldriver Member

    Messages:
    653
    Joined:
    9 Apr 2012
    Back in the good old days when a 'run by' could be squared up with the Bobby by buying him a couple of pints....
     
  20. Watto1990

    Watto1990 Member

    Messages:
    13
    Joined:
    16 Apr 2010
    Get your CV in then, best of luck to you.
     
  21. O L Leigh

    O L Leigh Established Member

    Messages:
    4,164
    Joined:
    20 Jan 2006
    That’s true, but that doesn’t necessarily make the job any less arduous or diminish the level of expectation or responsibility. It certainly doesn’t change my view. In the past you went to sign a route once you were happy to do so, but now we have to sit an assessment that tests our knowledge of all manner of aspects of the route, from stations and speeds to shunt moves and at-risk signals. Even if the route and traction cards have shrunk the level of knowledge demanded has expanded.

    Some traction may have a helpful TMS but not all classes do, and even those that do can be misleading sometimes. Even then, we are still expected to know what to do under certain circumstances.
     
  22. Silverlinky

    Silverlinky Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2012
    Oh....doesn't that work any more then? :)
     
  23. Ethano92

    Ethano92 Member

    Messages:
    384
    Joined:
    26 Jun 2017
    Location:
    New Malden
    I must say I'm not sure why this comment has been labelled 'trolled' as people do generally see it as a very well paying job/career. This is further emphasised by the fact that many don't see anything beyond "don't you just press start or stop" with that being the genuine (understandable) perception of many people I know. Especially on tube strikes, people are often angry as they feel drivers get paid too much anyway.

    I've always perceived the good pay being due to the responsibility a driver has to transport everyone on board their train safely bit beyond that I have also wondered myself.
     
  24. 404250

    404250 Member

    Messages:
    339
    Joined:
    25 May 2018
    Hopefully you're not a driver if you thought they were serious there.
     
  25. Silverlinky

    Silverlinky Member

    Messages:
    284
    Joined:
    3 Feb 2012
    Some fair points there too......
     
  26. theking

    theking Member

    Messages:
    406
    Joined:
    30 Sep 2011
    Pilots are paid more and have a lot more automation than the railways. (Excluding ato lines) why are they paid what they are paid?.
     
  27. 6Gman

    6Gman Established Member

    Messages:
    5,825
    Joined:
    1 May 2012
    Market forces.
     
  28. leightonbd

    leightonbd Member

    Messages:
    265
    Joined:
    4 Oct 2013
    Location:
    Edinburgh (South Sub)
    You have supply and demand the wrong way around.
     
  29. Ashley Hill

    Ashley Hill Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    8 Dec 2019
    Location:
    Ashley Hill
    Drivers have far less responsibility than they did years ago. Preparing a loco on passenger TOCs no longer means going around the loco checking the levels etc. That's the fitters job. On units they now perform the guards prep,doors toilets etc thereby reducing the guards responsibilities. They don't even fault find during failures. They call maintainance control for advice.
    Basically they're still the only grade that can't be fully done away yet so ASLEF can extort huge salaries from the train companies. The only justification for this is that a blind eye is no longer turned for misdemeanours. A SPAD could mean your job. Companies now pay a professional wage and expect a professional job. One mistake too many and your out!
     
  30. Intermodal

    Intermodal Member

    Messages:
    1,059
    Joined:
    3 Nov 2010
    Location:
    England
    I actually was a driver but I quit because the job was too easy. So now I work on an assembly line in a factory which requires a lot more skill as I have 4 different levers to pull instead of 2.
     
  31. Hooligan

    Hooligan Member

    Messages:
    32
    Joined:
    10 Feb 2016
    a couple of cans out your kitbag will suffice :D
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page