RMT members at Network Rail vote to accept pay offer, piling pressure on Mick Lynch to call off all train strikes
Members of the RMT in Network Rail have voted overwhelmingly to accept an offer to end the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
In a turnout of nearly 90%, members voted by 76% to 24% in favour, signalling an end to the bitter row, which led to a series of strikes in recent months.
The union said the deal includes an uplift on salaries of between 14.4% for the lowest paid grades to 9.2% for the highest paid, increased backpay, a no compulsory redundancy agreement until January 2025 and rail travel benefits.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Strike action and the inspiring solidarity and determination of members has secured new money and a new offer which has been clearly accepted by our members and that dispute is now over.
“Our dispute with the train operating companies remains firmly on and our members’ recent highly effective strike action across the 14 train companies has shown their determination to secure a better deal.
“If the Government now allows the train companies to make the right offer, we can then put that to our members, but until then the strike action scheduled for March 30 and April 1 will take place.
“The ball is in the Government’s court.”
The Government and Network Rail welcomed the ballot result although the RMT remains in dispute with train operators and plans two fresh strikes next week.
Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: “I’m pleased that RMT members were able to vote on this offer and the overwhelming vote in favour is good news for our people, our passengers and our country. I’m grateful for everyone who worked so hard at Network Rail and in the RMT to find a way through this dispute.
“My team and I will now focus all our efforts on rebuilding our railway so we can provide a better service for our passengers and freight customers.”
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “I am pleased Network Rail’s RMT members have voted to accept a fair and reasonable 5% plus 4% pay offer, over two years, that the Government worked hard to facilitate.
“While this is good news, unfortunately, RMT members who work for train operating companies are not being given the same chance to bring their dispute to an end. That’s because the RMT has refused to put the Rail Delivery Group’s very similar offer to a vote, denying these members the pay rise they deserve.
I am pleased that Network Rail’s RMT members have voted to accept a fair and reasonable 5% + 4% pay offer, over two years, that the Government worked hard to facilitate. (1/3)
— Mark Harper (@Mark_J_Harper) March 20, 2023
“That’s why I am once again urging the RMT to call off their upcoming strikes across train operating companies, put the Rail Delivery Group offer to a vote, and give all of their members a say.”
Britain has been struck by waves disruptive of strike action over the past few months as increasing numbers of transport, health, eduction and public sector workers demand better wages to keep pace with surging inflation and cost of living.