Latest Rail News

02.03.16

RMT ‘overwhelmingly’ accepts revised Night Tube deal

The controversial Night Tube scheme has moved a substantial step forward as one of the main unions campaigning against it, RMT, has formally accepted London Underground’s (LU’s) latest offer.

Its representatives confirmed yesterday (1 March) that balloted members across the Underground “overwhelmingly” voted for acceptance in a majority of 84% - although this does not come as a surprise.

Its general secretary, Mick Cash, who has been considerably critical of LU’s offers in the past, said: “I want to pay tribute to RMT’s members across London Underground who have stood rock solid throughout the long campaign of industrial pressure to secure a fair deal from the company over pay and night tube operation.

“Those members have now voted to accept the most recent offer from the company – an offer that was only made after the hard work by union reps in the negotiations backed up by the loyalty, determination and militancy of the workforce right across the tube network.”

The 24-hour service, which was originally meant to start on 12 September, was delayed countless times due to leftover sticking points in LU’s deal.

The four main transport unions – RMT, Aslef, TSSA and Unite – all took issue with the offer at one point in time, and a final agreement had never been made during innumerable conciliatory talks.

But the scheme started to look up early last month when RMT’s representatives recommended that its members accepted LU’s revised pay offer, which they perceived to finally include a fair work/life balance.

This offer included a minimum 1% rise in the fourth year settlement, to give the guarantee of a raise if RPI happened to fall below zero. A £500 bonus, initially offered to Night Tube staff only, was also extended to all operational workers.

Steve Griffiths, LU’s chief operating officer and main spokesperson in the Night Tube talks, welcomed the news, adding: “This is a fair and affordable pay deal, which includes complete protection of employee work/life balance.

“We are seeking agreement with the other unions and continue to focus on the recruitment and training of part-time drivers to deliver the night tube for London as quickly as possible.”

Members of the Aslef union are still voting on the offer and a result is expected on 7 March. TSSA and Unite have not yet put the offer to their members.

(Top image c. Tim Ireland, PA Images)

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