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Pay deal on the table but strike action will still take place

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

The RMT union will hold a referendum on a “new and improved” offer from Network Rail after it called off strike action on 16 March. But strike action will still go ahead this month and 1 April.

The RMT confirmed yesterday that it had taken the decision to suspend all industrial action on Network Rail after it received a new offer on pay and benefits.

This related to strike action planned on Thursday 16 March by Network Rail union members – those who look after the tracks and signalling on the train lines.

Today, the RMT confirmed it will hold a referendum on the offer which amounts to an uplift of salaries of between 14.4% for the lowest paid grades to 9.2% for the highest paid.

Further, there is also an additional 1.1% on basic earnings and increased backpay.

This means there is a total uplift on basic earnings of between 15.2% for the lowest paid grades, to 10.3% for the highest paid grades.

The RMT revealed over half of Network Rail RMT members earn less than £35,000 so they will be entitled to the 15.2% uplift over two years.

RMT members in Network Rail will now decide whether to accept the offer in a referendum between 9 and 20 March.

In the meantime, industrial action on Network Rail is suspended.

Some networks still strike affected

However, passengers will still face strike action on 16 March by RMT members working in 14 train operating companies.

These members will also be striking on 18 and 30 March, as well as 1 April.

The 14 train companies include:

  • Chiltern Railways
  • Cross Country Trains
  • Greater Anglia
  • LNER
  • East Midlands Railway
  • c2c
  • Great Western Railway
  • Northern Trains
  • South Eastern
  • South Western Railway
  • Transpennine Express
  • Avanti West Coast
  • West Midlands Trains
  • GTR (including Gatwick Express).

A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson, said: “The RMT leadership’s decision to put Network Rail’s deal to its membership is a welcome development, but train operating staff will rightly be asking why their union continues to deny them the opportunity to have their say on our equivalent offer.

“Instead of inflicting more lost pay on its members and disruption to our passengers, we are calling on the union to call off their strikes and meet us for urgent talks to resolve this dispute.”

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Network Rail have made a new and improved offer and now our members will decide whether to accept it.

“We will continue our campaign for a negotiated settlement on all aspects of the railway dispute.”

Related: Rail strikes: Your right to a refund if travel is affected by train strikes