Latest Rail News

09.04.15

Unions to consult members on revised NR pay offer

A fresh wave of talks between Network Rail and trade unions has led to an improved pay offer being tabled, in an attempt to avert Britain’s first national rail strike in a generation. 

During three days of Acas-facilitated talks, Network Rail, RMT, TSSA and Unite discussed the pay deals for 2015-18 for Controller grades and Bands 5-8 and equivalent in Maintenance and Operations and Customer Services. 

The improved offer includes: 

  • A £500 non-consolidated lump sum for all staff (pro-rata for part-time staff) covered by these bargaining groups as the pay deal for 2015
  • A consolidated inflation (RPI) percentage increase for 2016, 2017, 2018, with a guarantee of no salary reduction if RPI falls below 0%
  • No compulsory redundancies in 2015 or 2016
  • Network Rail is committed to equality proofing pay arrangements 

Network Rail committed to no compulsory redundancies during 2015 and 2016 for all bands 5-8 and equivalents in the bargaining groups – maintenance, operations and controllers. 

It gave this firm commitment to avoid compulsory redundancies and to work within the principles of the current promotion, transfer, redundancy and re-settlement arrangements (PTR&R) by: 

  • Providing redeployment opportunities, including retraining and relocation
  • Use of voluntary severance and possible bumping opportunities
  • Agreeing to have in place a formal agreement based on this understanding which has been consulted and agreed within six months of today, and to have a full joint review of its working within 12 months
  • Network Rail will endorse this agreement and mandate and ensure its implementation across the organisation. 

Phil Hufton, managing director of network operations at Network Rail, said: “We have had very constructive talks with our trades unions, and we appreciate their contribution to those discussions. 

“We believe that the revised offer is the best one we could achieve through negotiations, which have now concluded. The trades unions negotiating team now need to take the offer away to share with their leaders and local/area representatives with a view to reaching an agreement.” 

“We believe such an agreement would be good news for our people, for Network Rail, for our trades unions and, most importantly, for the people we are here to serve – our customers and passengers.”

Previously union members “overwhelmingly” rejected pay package proposals which included a 0% increase in pay for 2015; an RPI level of inflation increase in pay applied for 2016, 2017 and 2018; the ‘No Compulsory Redundancy’ commitment being extended until 31 December 2015; and Network Rail providing an annual National Rail Card giving a 33% reduction in off peak travel for employees, their friends and family. 

RTM was told by rail union RMT that it is now consulting its members on the offer. The TSSA union stated that members’ Area Council reps will be meeting on Thursday 16 April to decide whether to accept or reject the offer. 

“We believe that this is the best offer that can be achieved through negotiation,” a TSSA spokesperson said. 

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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