Andy Burnham has offered to meet with unions in a bid to break a "stalemate" in talks over pay for tram drivers if they call off the Metrolink strike next week.

But a union spokesperson has said the strikes are set to go ahead as planned.

Strike action has been scheduled over the weekend of June 10 and 11 which means that tram services will be affected while Parklife festival is on at Heaton Park.

Other events that would be disrupted include Soccer Aid at Old Trafford, Roger Waters at the AO Arena and The Weeknd at the Etihad Stadium.

Speaking on BBC Radio Manchester on Thursday, June 1, Mr Burnham said pay talks between Unite and Metrolink operator KeolisAmey have reached a "stalemate" so he is now willing to get involved in the process.

But, in return, the Greater Manchester mayor asked the union to call off the strike next weekend.

The Labour mayor said: “I will set up a process of talks, but it has to be in the real world with the kind of pressures we’re under.

“Let’s get around that table and see if we can find a way forward.

"But in return, I do ask the trade union today to postpone those strikes next weekend.”

Setting out his position on a weekly radio phone-in, Mr Burnham said that tram drivers have received above-inflation pay rises in recent years.

However, the public transport system has not bounced back after the pandemic, he added.

He explained that the Metrolink budget has been affected by lower passenger numbers compared to pre-pandemic levels, but said that the city-region has not received cash from the government to cover the shortfall.

The creation of the Bee Network – a new London-style public transport system which is set to launch in September – is another issue he mentioned on the radio programme.

Mr Burnham said that the five per cent pay rise which is currently on offer is "not bad".

But Unite has described the offer – which, if accepted, would cover a 15-month period before pay is reviewed again – as a "very significant real terms pay cut".

The Greater Manchester mayor said he would write to the union to set out his position.

However, approached by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, a spokesperson for the union said the strikes are still set to go ahead.

A Unite spokesperson said: “Metrolink has failed to make an improved offer and therefore the strikes are set to go ahead as planned.”

Previously, KeolisAmey Metrolink said they met with Unite on 12 occasions before making their final offer. After rejecting the offer, the more than 600 members of the union who work for the operator voted for industrial action.

More than 95 per cent of those who took part in the ballot supported the strikes.

After the results were announced, the operator called for talks to continue.