Latest Rail News

01.06.15

Rail strike talks enter fourth day

Emergency talks between Network Rail and unions have entered their fourth day as negotiators attempt to avert a national rail strike.

The RMT union is set to hold a 24-hour strike from 5pm on Thursday 4 June, and a 48-hour strike from 5pm on Tuesday 9 June. Union members will also be taking action short of a strike by not taking overtime shifts.

On Thursday, RMT reps rejected a new pay offer from Network Rail, which had been made to avoid a previously planned strike.

Under the new offer, some employees would also have received a 1.4% increase from 1 January 2016, and another 0.7% rise would have been implemented if the unions agree to different ways of working. There was also a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for two years.

This improved on the original deal, which included a £500 bonus but no pay rise this year. Salaries would then have risen only in line with inflation for three years until 2019.

Negotiations to avert the new strike have been taking place at Acas since Friday.

An Acas spokesperson said on Sunday: “Acas talks to try to resolve the rail dispute have adjourned this Sunday evening and will resume again tomorrow morning.”

Crucially, those taking part in the strike include signallers, which will severely inhibit the ability of all train operators to run services.

The transport secretary called the strike action “unnecessary and unreasonable” and condemned it “wholeheartedly”. Patrick McLoughlin said: “Over the past four years Network Rail staff have enjoyed pay rises eight times higher than other public sector workers. By any measure RMT members already get a fair deal.”

The TSSA and Unite are balloting members over whether to accept the previous pay offer and are not due to take part in the upcoming strikes.

(Picture by: Jonathan Brady)

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