Latest Public Sector News

01.06.15

Rail strikes called off

UPDATED 12.30pm, 1 June

The rail strikes planned for this week and next have now been called off while the unions involved consider a fresh offer.

An Acas spokesperson said: "After four days of intensive talks, Acas has helped Network Rail, RMT, TSSA and Unite formulate a set of revised proposals that the trades unions will now take away to consider. Recognising this, the RMT has agreed to suspend the industrial action planned for this week and next."

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Following extensive Acas talks throughout the weekend RMT has now received a revised offer that enables us to suspend the planned industrial action while we consult in full on the details of the revised package with our Network Rail representatives.”

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Emergency talks between Network Rail and unions have entered their fourth day as negotiators attempt to avert a national rail strike.

The RMT union is set to hold a 24-hour strike from 5pm on Thursday 4 June, and a 48-hour strike from 5pm on Tuesday 9 June. Union members will also be taking action short of a strike by not taking overtime shifts.

On Thursday, RMT reps rejected a new pay offer from Network Rail, which had been made to avoid a previously planned strike.

Under the new offer, some employees would also have received a 1.4% increase from 1 January 2016, and another 0.7% rise would have been implemented if the unions agree to different ways of working. There was also a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for two years.

This improved on the original deal, which included a £500 bonus but no pay rise this year. Salaries would then have risen only in line with inflation for three years until 2019.

Negotiations to avert the new strike have been taking place at Acas since Friday.

An Acas spokesperson said on Sunday: “Acas talks to try to resolve the rail dispute have adjourned this Sunday evening and will resume again tomorrow morning.”

Crucially, those taking part in the strike include signallers, which will severely inhibit the ability of all train operators to run services.

The transport secretary called the strike action “unnecessary and unreasonable” and condemned it “wholeheartedly”. Patrick McLoughlin said: “Over the past four years Network Rail staff have enjoyed pay rises eight times higher than other public sector workers. By any measure RMT members already get a fair deal.”

The TSSA and Unite are balloting members over whether to accept the previous pay offer and are not due to take part in the upcoming strikes.

(Picture by: Nick Ansell / PA Wire)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opininon@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

Doug   01/06/2015 at 17:12

Strange how the Transport secretary only sees the pay rise in comparison to the public sector, perhaps he should compare it to the ministers pay rises that usually increase by around 10% ! Good luck to the workers, it's about time we saw the pay awards reflecting profits from some of these companies.

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