Network Rail makes new offer to the RMT union to try and end strikes
Network Rail (NR) has made a “newly revised” offer to the biggest rail workers’ union in a bid to break the deadlock over a long-running dispute about pay, jobs and conditions.
The infrastructure giant said it has added some fresh proposals to the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT).
The union said its executive will consider the details of the offer.
An update on our next steps will be forthcoming in due course
An RMT spokesman said: “No decision has been made on the proposals, nor any of the elements within them.
“We will now consult members through branch and regional meetings. An update on our next steps will be forthcoming in due course.”
Tim Shoveller of NR said in a message to staff that the company was continuing with its plans for modernising maintenance, adding: “We must press on with this regardless of the pay dispute. We believe it will help to create a safer, better railway and jobs. Local consultation is under way and is providing the local level detail people want.
NR said new elements of the offer included an increase in London allowances for those who are currently on, or move onto, different contracts.
We want to introduce a standard 35-hour working week for everyone
Tim Shoveller, Network Rail
“We want to introduce a standard 35-hour working week for everyone. We’re now committing to work with the unions to review contracts above a 35-hour week so we can agree a way forward.
“We’ll introduce a better long service award framework for general grades, which will be backdated to 2022.
“We’ll improve carers’ leave. If you are a registered carer, you will be able to transfer five days paid volunteering leave to five days paid carers’ leave,” said Mr Shoveller.
NR said it was offering a minimum uplift of a consolidated £1,750 or a 5% increase (whichever is greater) up to a maximum uplift of £3,500 to the annual base rates of pay, with back pay from 1 January 2022, and a 4% increase to the annual base rates of pay effective from January 2023.
Over the two years, this adds up to an increase of between 9.2% to 14.4% – more for those on the lowest salaries, said NR.
There was also a commitment to no compulsory redundancies until January 2025, a 75% leisure travel discount for employees and their family, 75% reduction on an employee’s season ticket, and an opportunity to sell 10 days of leave if any is carried over from 2022.
Apprentices will see a “big increase” to their pay, backdated to April 2022, said NR.
The union has held a series of strikes over the past few months in its dispute with NR, which is separate to the row with train operators.