Metrolink staff have accepted a pay deal, ending a dispute which almost led to tram strikes during Parklife festival and other major events earlier this month. Workers will now get a pay rise of 6.5 pc as well as a £1,000 one-off payment.

It comes after mayor Andy Burnham met with union representatives in a bid to avert industrial action planned on June 10 and 11 when Parklife took place over two days at Heaton Park, The Weeknd performed at the Etihad Stadium, Roger Waters appeared at the AO Arena and Soccer Aid was hosted at Old Trafford. Trade union Unite suspended the strikes after an improved offer was made.

However, tram services were still severely disrupted over the weekend with three Metrolink lines suspended due to damaged overhead cables at Victoria. Services to Bury, Rochdale and Oldham were affected until Thursday (June 15).

KeolisAmey, which runs Metrolink services, will cover the cost of the pay rise, but the improved offer could cost the taxpayer when the contract is renewed. Previously, the operator offered staff a 5 pc pay rise for a 15-month period.

More than 95 pc of Unite members voted to reject the deal and take industrial action after the trade union described the offer as ‘woeful’. But most of the more than 600 members voted to accept the improved pay offer last week.

Unite says the deal is worth more than 9 pc for many. General secretary Sharon Graham said: “This deal demonstrates the value of being in Unite.

“Our members at Metrolink, by standing together in unity, left the employer with no option but to return to the negotiating table and make an improved offer. This is a further example of how Unite’s total focus on the jobs, pay and conditions is paying direct financial dividends for its members.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that the pay rise will be backdated to January with any future increase to come into effect next April. Some union members were not happy about the pay anniversary moving because of the impact that this could have on industrial action in the future.

Moving the pay anniversary from January to April means that it is less likely that strike action will take place during major events such as Parklife at the start of the summer because of the timescales typically involved in pay talks. KeolisAmey has been asked to explain why the pay anniversary has changed.

Unite regional officer Colin Hayden said: “This was an important dispute and Unite will build on this settlement in future pay negotiations with Metrolink.”

A Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) spokesperson said: “The cost of the salaries payable to its staff are the responsibility of KeolisAmey Metrolink as part of its contract to operate and maintain the network. Any impact on TfGM/GMCA would only arise beyond the contract term.”