Hillside staff preparing for redundancy will receive a Christmas bonus of sorts, following an industry-wide pay increase for the country's 2500-odd rail workers.
The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) yesterday ratified a two-year deal, which included a base pay increase of 1.2% in the first year and 2% in the secondyear.
It was backdated to June 30, which meant even redundant Hillside workers who had already left the South Dunedin workshops would benefit.
RMTU South Island organiser John Kerr said the backdated pay should be given to workers before Christmas.
In the case of most Hillside staff, it would increase their redundancy packages ''substantially'', he said.
''It will make a big difference.''
KiwiRail said it would pay redundant Hillside workers until the end of January and then provide redundancy packages.