Readers' letters: Pay imbalance at Edinburgh Trams

The outcome of the ballot for industrial action at Edinburgh Trams is to be announced after 20 July.

In dispute is a pay offer of 5 per cent this year and 4 per cent next year.

Unite union has pointed out the managing director has just received a 16 per cent increase to £175,000 with an added “bonus” payment of another 10 per cent at £16,000.

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The starting salary for the MD on appointment in 2016 was £90,000 and has therefore doubled in five years.

Compared to ScotRail, management at Edinburgh Trams seem to be doing well. For example, the highest paid full-time employee of ScotRail, the chief operating officer, is reportedly paid between £175,000-£180,000 a year.

ScotRail has a route length of over 1750 miles, more than 5000 employees and 340 stations.

Edinburgh Trams currently has one line of 8 miles and 14 stops.

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How can Edinburgh Trams seriously expect employees to take what is in effect a pay cut, while at the same time awarding management the equivalent of a 26 per cent increase?

It is interesting that in 2019 the MD said: “Everyone at Edinburgh Trams continues to work tirelessly to deliver a safe, reliable and customer-focused service for our residents and visitors to the city…”

Should that work ethic not be remunerated more fairly?

Alastair Murray, Edinburgh.

A Penny for your next Prime Minister!

During her first Q and A session, Penny Mordaunt spoke of Margaret Thatcher and her often quoted remark that ‘’everyone needs a Willie.’’

Mrs Thatcher was of course referring to her then staunch supporter Willie Whitelaw. Ms Mordaunt used the quote to her advantage and said that she was a woman and a leader but unlike Margaret Thatcher did not need a Willie.

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At a stroke she disarmed her questioner and dismantled any question that she was ultra liberal on the gender issue.

With that kind of quick thinking and command she made the plodding Boris of past years appear leaden and clearly is more than intellectually fit for the top job.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

Is it safe to leave the kids home alone?

School’s out for summer and parents will be making important decisions about childcare.

There isn’t a legal minimum age for a child to stay home or go out alone and parents often call the NSPCC Helpline to ask for advice.

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There’s no set rule for all because every child is different, but between work appointments and family commitments parents will have to consider whether to leave their child home alone at some point.

Infants and young children aged 0-3 years old should never be left alone – even for 15 minutes. This also applies to leaving them in your car while you run into the shops.

We wouldn't recommend leaving a child under 12 years old home alone, particularly for long periods.

It’s important to talk to your child about anything they may be worried about. Regularly checking how they feel can pinpoint any concerns and help you decide if they are ready to be left alone.

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A child who doesn’t feel comfortable about staying alone should never be left home alone.

Childline is also here for them. Call 0800 1111 or via 1-2-1 chat on

Gail Sayles, NSPCC Scotland.

Write to the Edinburgh Evening News

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