‘New and improved offer’ from Network Rail is put to union vote

A “new and improved” salary offer from Network Rail is being submitted to the members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers’ union (RMT) for a vote.

The union declared on Tuesday night that it was postponing the strikes that were scheduled to occur from 2am on March 16 until 1.59am on March 17 in response to the revised offer.

The national executive has not made a recommendation on whether members should accept or reject the offer, thus union members will vote on it.

The union members’ referendum will begin on March 9 and run until March 20 at noon.

Network Rail has offered a fresh and improved offer, and now it is up to our members to decide whether to accept it, according to RMT general secretary Mick Lynch.

“We will continue to push for a diplomatic resolution to the railway dispute on all fronts.”

The RMT added that the new proposal includes more funds and is not dependent on approving Network Rail’s plan for modernising maintenance, which it opposes.

According to the offer, salary increases range from 14.4% for the lowest paid grades to 9.2% for the most compensated.

Also, it translates to an overall increase in basic pay ranging from 10.3% for the highest-paid grades to 15.2% for the lowest-paid grades.

According to the union, the bulk of RMT members in Network Rail—55%—earn less than £35,000 annually, making them eligible for the 15.2% raise over a two-year period.

The agreement also includes 75% off leisure travel, which Network Rail members have long demanded.

The deal will probably be approved. A majority (36%) of the 83% of RMT members who work for Network Rail who cast ballots for the last offer from the company before Christmas chose to accept it.

However the RMT strike against the 14 train operators backed by the Rail Delivery Group, set for March 16, 18, 30, and April 1, will still cause delays for travellers.

“We are relieved for our workers, passengers, and freight customers that industrial action in Network Rail has finally been suspended,” said Network Rail CEO Andrew Haines. We anticipate learning more about the referendum plans.

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