RMT rail strikes: Relief for commuters as union votes to accept pay offer | The Sun
MEMBERS of the RMT in Network Rail have voted to accept a pay offer to end a long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
The union announced today that its 20,000 members have voted to accept a new and improved offer covering pay, jobs and conditions by a margin of three to one.
In a turnout of nearly 90 per cent, members voted by 76 per cent to 24 per cent in favour, signalling an end to the bitter row, which led to a series of strikes.
Strikes had caused chaos up and down the country with commuters facing travel misery for a number of months.
The deal has been accepted after Network Rail amended its previously rejected offer of a 5 per cent pay rise for 2022 and a 4 per cent increase this year.
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.
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“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.”
At the beginning of 2023, Mick Lynch, general secretary of the RMT claimed that the government had blocked a deal to end the dispute.
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He said that he was willing to negotiate but requires an offer on pay, jobs and conditions that their members can vote on.
However, despite the announcement, RMT members who work for 14 train operating companies are still due to walk out on 30 March and 1 April.
But the Network Rail result will be seen as a significant breakthrough.
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.
“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.”
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