Members of the RMT union have voted overwhelmingly to accept a new pay deal from Network Rail.
The vote will see strike action at the national infrastructure company come to an end after more than six months. In a turnout of nearly 90%, members voted by 76% to 24% in favour of accepting the new terms on pay and conditions.
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.”
The union said the deal agreed with Network Rail includes an uplift on salaries of between 14.4% for the lowest paid grades to 9.2% for the highest paid, increased back pay, a no compulsory redundancy agreement until January 2025 and rail travel benefits.
Lynch added: “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The RMT added that Network Rail had withdrawn its previous insistence that the offer was conditional on the union accepting the company “modernising maintenance” agenda, which the union will continue to scrutinise and challenge. Lynch said that when the union first declared the dispute with Network Rail a year ago in the spring of 2022, the RMT was told that Network Rail workers would only get a pay rise of 2% to 3%.
Network Rail owns and is responsible for the maintenance running and modernisation of the UK’s rail infrastructure - including tracks, bridges and signalling. The RMT strikes have seen half of all rail lines around the UK shut down on strike days, adding to problems caused by action by members employed by the country’s train operating companies.
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 added: “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.”