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ScotRail workers agree deal in guard dispute

ScotRail workers have voted to accept a deal in an effort to resolve its dispute over the role of guards on trains.

The RMT said that its members had backed the agreement – which will guarantee that a conductor will be retained as the second member of staff on board new trains being rolled out next year – by a margin of 10-1.

Under the deal, which had been put to the train drivers’ union Aslef last month and an in-principle deal agreed, the driver will open train doors but a guard will control their closing.

Phil Verster, ScotRail Alliance managing director, said: “I am pleased we have reached an agreement with the RMT and Aslef unions that brings this dispute to an end. This ends the uncertainty for our people and our customers and allows us to concentrate on delivering the best possible service for Scotland, every single day.

“We are about to enter into a new era for ScotRail. Over the course of the next year or so, we will see hundreds of new and refurbished trains enter service.”

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said members had backed the deal in a referendum ballot that is “a major victory in the fight to stop the compromising of rail safety through the extension of driver-only operation (DOO)”.

“The agreement has been reached after a campaign of industrial action and after intense negotiations and shows what can be achieved when management and unions get down to serious talks,” he said.

Cash added that this should be a lesson and a “wake-up call” to those involved with the Southern Rail dispute. Earlier this week, GTR  tried to stamp out its industrial dispute with RMT by making a final offer to the union.

The operator repeated its eight-point offer to the union, and said that if the union accepts the deal by the deadline of midday on 6 October, it will pay a lump sum of £2,000 to all affected conductors. The payment would be paid in January 2017, following the full implementation of GTR’s DOO programme.

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Jerry Alderson   07/10/2016 at 17:40

Will this compomise be applied to all non-DOO Scotrail trains? Time is lost waiting for the conductor/guard to open the doors (it can be prompt but sometimes I've waited up to 20 seconds) so letting the driver open them as soon as the train stops is really good news for passengers. Time will still be lost having the guard/conductor close the doors. For passengers it is still nowhere near as good as having an OBS focusing on serving passengers but at least it is a move in the right direction. Looking ahead I do not think this agreement will survive many years. The DfT wants DCO (DOO+1) or DOO across England and it that happens I think Scotland and Wales will follow suit.

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