Network Rail makes revised offer to RMT in effort to end dispute | rail industry

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Network Rail has made a “newly revised” offer to Britain’s biggest rail workers’ union in an attempt to break the deadlock over a long-running dispute about pay, jobs and conditions.

Network Rail, which is responsible for track, signaling and other rail infrastructure in England, Scotland and Wales, said it had added some fresh proposals in the revised offer to the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT).

The union, which represents signallers, maintenance staff and other Network Rail workers, said its executive would consider the details of the offer.

An RMT spokesperson added: “We will now consult members through branch and regional meetings. An update on our next steps will be forthcoming in due course.”

Tim Shoveller, the chief negotiator for Network Rail, said in a message to staff that the company was continuing with its plans for modernizing maintenance, adding: “We must press on with this regardless of the pay dispute. We believe it will help to create a safer, better railway and jobs. Local consultation is under way and is providing the local level detail people want.

“We want to introduce a standard 35-hour working week for everyone. We’re now committed to work with the unions to review contracts above a 35-hour week so we can agree a way forward.”

“We’ll introduce a better long-service award framework for general grades, which will be backdated to 2022. We’ll improve carers’ leave. If you are a registered carer, you will be able to transfer five days paid volunteering leave to five days paid carers’ leave.”

Network Rail said updated elements of the offer included an increase in London allowances for those who are on or moving on to different contracts.

It said it was offering a minimum uplift of a consolidated £1,750, or a 5% increase (whichever is greater) up to a maximum of £3,500, to the annual base rates of pay backdated to 1 January 2022, and a 4% increase to the annual base rates of pay effective from January 2023.

Over the two years, this adds up to an increase of between 9.2% to 14.4%, more for those on the lowest salaries, said Network Rail.

There was also a commitment to no compulsory redundancies until January 2025, a 75% leisure travel discount for employees and their families, a 75% price reduction on employees’ season tickets and an opportunity to sell 10 days of leave if any is carried over from 2022.

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Apprentices will see a “big increase” to their pay, backdated to April 2022, Network Rail added.

The RMT has held a series of strikes over the past few months in its dispute with Network Rail, a row that is separate to the one with train operators.

The union’s dispute with Network Rail is separate to the train drivers’ row with rail operators, which led to a strike on Wednesday.

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