Rail jobs, staff issues and training

25.01.18

RMT prepares to ballot members over Tyne and Wear Metro strikes

The RMT is considering strike action on yet another network – the Tyne and Wear Metro in Newcastle.

Following the union striking on Docklands Light Railway on New Year’s Eve and carrying out a string of strikes across five heavy rail operators in early January, RMT leadership said that it would be balloting its members on whether to take action over the imposition of the government’s 1% public sector pay cap.

As the North East Combined Authority is the parent authority of Nexus, who runs the Tyne and Wear Metro, its employees are local government workers, and so fall under the remit of the pay cap.

The strike concerns staff at working at Tyne and Wear's Metro Services, the arms-length company that was created when the Metro operating concession with Deutsche Bahn ended in March 2017.

RTM understands that of the 540 Metro staff employed, 200-250 are represented by the RMT, while the rest are affiliated with Aslef and Unite, who have already accepted the pay deal. 

RMT members have already rejected the 1% offer in a referendum ballot, and now may take it further as a formal dispute has been declared.

“We have listened intently and considered the views of our NEMOL membership, who through democratic channels have made their position abundantly clear that they are prepared to fight for pay justice irrespective of being caught up in the cross-hairs of the government’s 1% pay cap,” said RMT general secretary Mick Cash.

“With inflation running at 4% our members should not be forced through centrally imposed austerity measures to take a hit on their standards of living just to bail out a government which seems to have plenty of cash available when it comes to looking after mates in the private train companies and beyond.

“Preparations for the ballot are underway and RMT remains available for talks.”

A spokesman for Nexus told RTM that the company had worked hard with all its trade unions to agree a pay settlement which provides a fair deal for staff within the limits of public sector pay restraint by which Nexus is bound.

“We are still talking to the RMT to understand and address the issues its members have with our offer in order to avoid a ballot for industrial action," he stated. 

Sources also told RTM that further talks with the RMT were going to take place in the future. 

Top Image: Phil Thirkell

Comments

Ian Watkins   25/01/2018 at 12:37

So if the railways were renationalised????

Pete   25/01/2018 at 13:13

Optimistic of the RMT to think that striking on a regional light rail network is going to overturn one of the central economic policies of a Tory government that’s shown zero intent to negotiate with the unions in eight years. A strike will achieve nothing more than pissing people off.

Gw   26/01/2018 at 19:38

Welcome to Mr Corbyn's future. About time drivers got a 1% pay increase!

Andrew JG   27/01/2018 at 18:30

Wouldn’t mind if he did take over and re-nationalise our railways. Used to vote for Labour before I went to UKIP & Green Party. I hope Mr Corbyn can reinstate our railways to be run by the British people and not by foreign rail companies taking over our railways. #BringBackBritishRail

J, Leicester   29/01/2018 at 10:27

Well, maybe if they'd let DB Regio keep the T&W Metro franchise, this wouldn't have happened! This happening so soon after the keys being handed back to the public sector doesn't exactly help dispel the narrative that a nationalised network would be absolutely at the mercy of unions. I must also say that I found the DLR strike hilarious, and a perfect example of why driverless trains may well be worth pursuing. It was completely ineffective. Maybe Nexus should look at driverless trains for their newly-opened rolling stock tender?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Peak District freight sidings get £18m Network Rail boost

14/08/2018Peak District freight sidings get £18m Network Rail boost

An £18m rail investment in the Peak District will come as good news for the construction industry, benefitting the environment, economy and... more >
New access to York station as part of major brownfield redevelopment plans

14/08/2018New access to York station as part of major brownfield redevelopment plans

New plans including a new access point to York station and the expansion of the National Railway Museum headline groundbreaking proposals of crea... more >
Talgo launches legal bid against HS2 ‘botched’ £2.8bn train procurement

14/08/2018Talgo launches legal bid against HS2 ‘botched’ £2.8bn train procurement

HS2 Ltd is facing a fresh legal challenge from Spanish manufacturer Talgo over what it argues has been “botched” £2.8bn rolling... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleeper's' daily blog

A radical solution to the employment crisis

24/07/2018A radical solution to the employment crisis

Peter Cayless, founder and creative director at Working Eye, talks about an innovative solution to employment in the rail industry that might just help transform careers advice into career discovery. At the 2012 Latitude Festival, comedian Shappi Khorsandi joked that rather than book a clown for their daughter’s birthday party, parents should hire a careers adviser. Very funny at the time, but six years on, she could say the same.... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Passengers at the heart of Thameslink

31/07/2018Passengers at the heart of Thameslink

As Thameslink launches a new timetable, Richard Freeston-Clough, operations and communications officer at London TravelWatch, looks back at the w... more >
Customers want more rail freight

31/07/2018Customers want more rail freight

Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail manager at the Campaign for Better Transport, makes a socioeconomic case for continued investment not only in t... more >
Freight for the Borderlands' untapped potential

31/07/2018Freight for the Borderlands' untapped potential

John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle and the government’s Borderlands Deal Champion, discusses the untapped potential for growth in the Borderla... more >
British manufacturing in buoyant demand for steel

31/07/2018British manufacturing in buoyant demand for steel

Roger Neary, head of logistics sales at DB Cargo UK, discusses the rail freight company’s £6m expansion of its steel warehousing faci... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >