RMT union members unanimously accept pay deal - putting an end to ongoing strikes
RMT Union members have unanimously agreed to end its long-running dispute with bosses over pay and conditions, after voting to accept a new deal. Industrial action has taken place over the past 18 months, with service cancelled or suspended for customers as thousands of members of staff went out on strike.
However, travel disruption looks set to come to a close with the latest development. The deal offered to members is said to have included a backdated pay rise of 5% for last year and job security guarantees such as no compulsory redundancies until the end of 2024. This was further sweetened with the announcement to scrap plans to close railway ticket offices in England.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our members have spoken in huge numbers to accept this offer and I want to congratulate them on their steadfastness in this long industrial campaign. We will be negotiating further with the train operators over reforms they want to see, and we will never shy away from vigorously defending our members’ terms and conditions, now or in the future. This campaign shows that sustained strike action and unity gets results and our members should be proud of the role they have played in securing this deal.”
It comes as union Aslef announced a week-long overtime ban in the first week of December, starting Friday (December 1). A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said: “This welcome vote from RMT members will unlock a pay rise for our people, and means that fair agreements have now been reached with three out of the four unions involved in the recent industrial dispute.
"Unfortunately, the Aslef leadership’s decision to call further industrial action means passengers still face disruption between 1-9 December, despite an offer remaining on the table which would see basic driver salaries increase from £60k to £65k for a four-day week. We want to reach a fair agreement which will get more trains running on time and put the railway on a sustainable footing, at a time when taxpayers are contributing an extra £54 million a week to keep services running post covid. Instead of staging more damaging industrial action, we call on Aslef to work with us to resolve this dispute for the long-term good of everyone who works in rail and the millions of businesses and passengers who rely on it every day.”
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “This is welcome news for passengers and a significant step towards resolving industrial disputes on the railway, giving workers a pay rise before Christmas and a pathway to delivering long overdue reforms. It remains the case that the train drivers’ union Aslef continue to block their members from having a say on the offer that would take train drivers’ median salaries from £60,000 to £65,000 for a 35-hour, four-day week. Aslef should follow the RMT’s lead and give their members a say.”
Rishi Sunak has welcomed the new deal. The Prime Minister's spokesperson said: "This is incredibly welcome news for passengers. It's a significant step towards resolving industrial disputes on the railway, giving workers a pay rise before Christmas and is a pathway to delivering long overdue reforms."