Network Rail has made a new pay offer to workers following three days of strike action last month, but it does not appear to have been welcomed by union bosses.
Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers' union (RMT) general secretary Mick Lynch said in a message to members on Tuesday: "It amounts to a real-terms pay cut for members over the next two years and would cut a third of all frontline maintenance roles and half of all scheduled maintenance work."
According to Network Rail, the two-year deal includes:
• Over 5% rise for all RMT members and more for those paid under £30,000 - sources close to the employers told Sky News the Network Rail offer was worth up to 10% for the lowest-paid
• A 4% rise on basic pay would be paid in year one, backdated to January, with 2% in year two and a further 2% if modernisation reform milestones are met
• 75% discounted travel for employees and family from January 2023
• Some £650 for each worker as a cash "bonus"
• A further £250 lump sum for those paid under £24,000
• A guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for the two years
Mr Lynch told members: "Network Rail has offered high level managers a huge hike in salary in return for very modest flexibility compared to what you and your colleagues have been offered.
"All companies involved in this dispute need to understand that key railway workers have lost thousands of pounds in earnings due to a pay freeze in recent years - and rightly, you refuse to be short-changed again.
"Settlements reached with London Underground and recently Merseyrail are also well in excess of what you have been offered here.
"We will not hesitate to call further strike action and co-ordinate this with other trade unions if the industry continues to fob us off with unacceptable offers."
A Network Rail spokesperson said: "Today we have put a new pay offer on the table for our RMT colleagues which will be worth over 5%, conditional on achieving savings through modernising reforms.
"There's also money on the table for a fair and affordable deal for next year too.
"While money is extremely tight because of the railway's financial troubles following the pandemic, we can afford to make this offer if our people accept change and compromise, which will fund it."
Talks between the RMT and train operators continued on Tuesday evening, while the RMT executive committee will meet on Wednesday to discuss the offer.
Meanwhile, the Transport Salaried Staffs Association said it has received improved pay offers from Network Rail following a day of talks with the company.
A pay offer of 3% has been made for management grades and 4% for general grades, with the potential for more if productivity targets are met, said TSSA.
General secretary Manuel Cortes said: "These latest offers don't come close to what our Network Rail members expect.
"After years of pay freezes, these latest proposals will only bake in real-terms pay cuts for everyone across Network Rail.
"However, we note that after a decade of a commitment by NR bosses to no compulsory redundancies this is back on the table."
He added: "Our reps will now consider these offers, which come with more than 50 strings attached. The company expects our union to consider the dispute over. It isn't.
"Network Rail top brass need to wake up. From their managers right through to support and front-line staff - rail staff across Network Rail have had enough."