RATP: bus drivers will earn 372 euros more per month… by working more

Work more to earn more. This is a summary of the logic of the social deal that recently agreed to sign unions FO and UNSA, the majority in RATP. On August 1, the working conditions of 18,000 RATP bus and tram drivers were unilaterally changed by former CEO Catherine Guillouard to prepare for the opening of the competition, which is scheduled for January 1, 2025. .

In exchange for an increase in working time of about twenty hours per year, management has provided an annual increase of 460 euros gross. Several days of strikes by bus drivers and, above all, an increase in local 59-minute strikes and an increase in absenteeism subsequently disrupted the network, to the point that only 75% of scheduled buses were operating in September and October.

Six days less rest, 40 minutes more per day…

As soon as he took office, new president Jean Castex announced that he was putting social dialogue at the top of his priorities and just before Christmas, a draft agreement on machinists’ working hours could be completed. This new “territorial social framework” (CST), provides for the elimination of six holidays per year by 2024, as well as a daily work range of up to 13 hours instead of the current 11 hours. Daily work time will also be increased by 40 minutes (120 more hours per year).

“In addition, from 1 January 2023, all bus and tram drivers benefit from a more than 20% increase in the qualification difficulty bonus bringing it to €70 gross/month”, adds RATP management. This agreement is one of the key elements of the company’s action plan to restore production levels and service quality of the bus and tram network as quickly as possible for the benefit of passengers.”

Service levels rose to 85% in January, after hiring 1,500 drivers in 2022, according to figures from management sent to Le Parisien. “The new conditions will allow an increase in the number of services, with drivers able to drive during the morning and evening rush hours,” a source told RATP. In return, the machinists will benefit from an increase in gross salary of 372 euros per month – equivalent to the 14th and 15th months, according to the FO – and a revaluation of certain bonuses.

After 2025, if the RATP agent is transferred to a group subsidiary or competitor (Keolis, Transdev), he will maintain these working conditions and his salary, the famous “social backpack”. This agreement about activating agents whets the appetite of other categories (regulators, executives), who are preparing social movements.

“In terms of money, Jean Castex gave up what was needed to satisfy his colleagues due to the deteriorating working conditions for them,” admits Jean-Christophe Delprat, federal secretary of the FO transport federation. “Castex’s method is simple: listening, pragmatism, and a give-and-take”, Unsa-RATP secretary general Arole Lamasse, whose union, like the FO, has indicated it will sign the agreement. . Among them, this union is the majority.

The “Castex method” is praised

Even non-signers like CGT recognize the human qualities in the new CEO, which contrasts with its predecessors. The former Prime Minister doubled down on field trips, almost daily, to meet with the group’s 45,000 agents in Île-de-France. Jean Castex, “he was a rather pleasant person, who went over to the people”, assured Bertrand Hammache, general secretary of the CGT-RATP, while denouncing the generally unprofitable deal.

Those observations were shared by Frédéric Ruiz, president of CGE-CGC, who however said he was prepared to file strike notices on behalf of the monitors, which he said the agreement largely forgot about. However, he applauds the new boss’s ability to listen, “the first step”, but finds it still “deficient”.

“RATP is going through a very difficult period”, especially because of the prospect of opening up the competition, continues Frédéric Ruiz. “This disturbed everything, Catherine Guillouard enforced it with forced marches and Mr. Castex appears to have come to create a bit of a binder between the various parties, in particular the unions, which Catherine Guillouard has been incredibly dismissive of”, he added. He now says he hopes for “concrete action”.

The road still looks long to calm the RATP house. For three months, the conflict at the maintenance shop has disrupted circulation of the metro, lines 10 and 12, as well as RER A, extending the waiting time for users. Discussions on Mandatory Annual Negotiations (NAO) will begin this month. On January 13, Jean Castex was finally summoned by Valérie Pécresse, president of Île-de-France Mobilités, for an extraordinary council aimed at restoring the full traffic offer in the coming months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *