Metro passengers are facing two days of disruption as drivers strike, forcing a full shutdown of the network.

In a bitter row over pay and contract conditions, drivers in the RMT union will walk out on Friday, December 20 and Saturday, December 21 - what are expected to be two of the busiest days of the year.

This Friday is known as Black Eye Friday and Saturday see's Newcastle United play Crystal Palace at St James' Park.

There will be no Metro trains at all. However, bus operators have pledged bigger and more frequent services.

This week, union chiefs accused Nexus bosses of lying about a 15% pay rise offer.

RMT regional organiser Micky Thompson has rejected Nexus' claims that the union turned down a pay rise offer that would take drivers’ salaries to £46,000 by 2022.

Metro bosses say that the union “seems confused” about what it wants and insist they have offered “a very good pay rise and new more flexible shift patterns” to reduce the service’s reliance on drivers working overtime.

Below are the key sticking points between the RMT and Nexus.

What do Nexus and the RMT disagree on?

Nexus believes that there are two areas of outstanding disagreement with the RMT, out of a total 26 points relating to drivers’ terms and rostering. Those are:

The RMT’s Micky Thompson has cited a number of further areas of dispute, including:

However, Mr Thompson added that individual items of disagreement were irrelevant because they had to come as part of a whole package and Nexus has made “no offer”.

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