Newspapers in England are reporting that subway train drivers get paid more than pilots, doctors, police officers and nurses. The Sunday Times newspaper reports that the three highest-paid drivers on the London Underground earned $130,000 last year. This included overtime, bonuses and pension payments. It is a 69 per cent rise in pay since 2012. Journalists say the basic salary of a train driver is $70,000 a year. This is double the average wage of a nurse in London and more than what many airline pilots earn. The newspaper reports that police officers in London have a starting salary of $28,000. In addition to their pay, London Underground train drivers get over eight weeks paid holiday a year.
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Many people think the high salaries train drivers get are unfair. James Roberts of the Tax-Payers' Alliance said: "These salaries are totally [wrong]....Increasingly, the role of a [subway train] driver is getting easier." He said that many train drivers no longer have to drive the trains because many train lines are fully automated. He said drivers on automated train lines only have to open and close train doors. He was also surprised the drivers were going on strike for more pay. A train drivers' spokesman said their pay was for, "the professionalism, and expertise...of delivering a professional public service for hundreds of thousands of passengers travelling on the Underground...every day."