Passenger Rail, Workforce, Certification & Training

UK rail union secures big win

Network Rail - Photo Network Rail

A UK-wide rail strike was called off on Monday after owner/operator Network Rail offered an improved package to unions.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union on Monday suspended a planned 24-hour work stoppagefor Thursday, after it received a revised offer from Network Rail.

Network Rail reportedly offered the union a sweeter deal, which includes a 2% pay raise for 2015 backdated to January 1, as well as a guarantee of no job cuts before 2017.

The offer, which was tendered following talks brokered by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, also includes a pay raise from January 1, 2016.

The union said it would present the offer to members on Friday, allowing it to cancel this week’s planned action, as well as a two-day strike planned for next week.

“Following extensive ACAS talks throughout the weekend RMT has now received a revised offer that enables us to suspend the planned industrial action,” the union’s general secretary Mick Cash said.

Cash said the union planned to “consult in full on the details of the revised package with our Network Rail representatives.”

Network Rail, which operates, maintains and develops Britain’s rail tracks, signalling, bridges, tunnels, level crossings, viaducts and 18 large stations, says it wants to resolve the labour dispute, but wants a fair deal.

“Our people know that there are ways to improve the way work is done,” National Rail chief executive Mick Carne said on May 28.

“I have always said that if we work together to realise these benefits there is the possibility to increase pay.”

Following Monday’s announcement, Carne said: “I am very pleased that the industrial action has been suspended. With ACAS’s help, we have had very constructive talks with the unions over the weekend and I hope they will be able to agree this deal.”