RMT puts ‘new and improved offer’ from Network Rail to vote

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The Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers’ union (RMT) is putting a “new and improved” pay offer from Network Rail to its members for a vote.

Following the new offer, the union announced on Tuesday evening it was suspending strikes that were due to take place from 2am on 16 March until 1.59am on 17 March.

Union members will vote on the offer but the national executive has not issued a recommendation on whether members should accept or reject the offer.

The referendum of union members will start on 9 March and end at midday on 20 March.

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.”

The RMT also said the new offer involves extra money and is not conditional on accepting Network Rail’s modernising maintenance agenda which it does not endorse.

More on Rail Strikes

The offer amounts to an uplift on salaries of between 14.4% for the lowest paid grades to 9.2% for the highest paid, it said.

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Rising support for unions – poll

It also equates to a total uplift in basic earnings between 15.2% for the lowest-paid grades, to 10.3% for the highest-paid grades.

The majority – 55% of RMT members in Network Rail – earn less than £35,000, the union said, so most union members will be entitled to the 15.2% uplift over two years.

Other components of the deal include 75% off leisure travel – a long-held demand of Network Rail members.

It is likely the deal will be accepted. The last offer from Network Rail, voted on before Christmas, was accepted by more than a third (36%) of the 83% of RMT members working for Network Rail who turned out to vote.

But passengers will still face disruption from RMT industrial action scheduled for 16, 18 and 30 March, and 1 April against the 14 train operators represented by the Rail Delivery Group.

Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “We are relieved for our people, passengers and freight customers that industrial action in Network Rail has now been suspended. We look forward to further information on plans for a referendum.”

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