By Marcus Leach

London's underground tube workers are set to see their salaries increased by 5%, pushing the average wage for workers above £50,000.

Talks with the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union have begun centring around a four-year pay deal which would see salaries go up by 5% in the first year, followed by rises in line with inflation plus 0.5% for the next three years.

This pleased even Bob Crow, RMT's general secretary, who doesn't think the underground staff will find a better deal in the public sector.

"In these days of austerity we have shown that fighting trade unionism is the best defence from attacks on jobs and living standards," said Mr Crow.

"I doubt you will find a better offer than this anywhere else in the public sector."

The new deal, if settled on, will see the average wage of tube workers salary rise above £50,000, and it is hoped that the improved deal will ensure a stable service throughout the Olympic Games in 2012.

"This fair and affordable multi-year pay deal is a good deal for London - providing a platform for stability over a crucial time for the Tube network," said Mike Brown, London Uunderground's managing director.

"We can now get on with the vital task of delivering the huge improvements to the network that Londoners need and deserve while we continue to develop our detailed plans to keep London moving during next summer's Games."

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