After months of industrial action and major disruptions to rail travel across the UK, thousands of rail staff, including the likes of signallers and maintenance staff, voting to accept a pay offer from Network Rail.
This signifies an end to the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and working conditions after the offer for an uplift on salaries of between 14.4% for the lowest paid grades to 9.2% for the highest paid was accepted.
According to the RMT union, the voting turnout was nearly 90%, with a staggering 76% of members voting in favour of the pay offer. This represents a major increase from the previously rejected deal of a 5% pay rise for 2022 and a 4% increase this year.
Though the deal has been accepted, RMT members who work for 14 train operating companies are still expected to uphold planned walk outs on the 30th March and 1st.
This news has been welcomed by Transport Secretary Mark Harper, as he commented saying:
“I'm very pleased, on behalf of the travelling public, that at least on the Network Rail side of the rail business we've now solved the industrial disputes.”
Though the news of this agreement is a significant step in the right direction for the British travelling public, it does not mean that there is a total end to the industrial action across the UK, due to staff working for train organisations that are entangled within separate disputes.
The Network Rail chief executive, Andrew Haines, said:
“I’m pleased that RMT members were able to vote on this offer and the overwhelming vote in favour is good news for our people, our passengers and our country. My team and I will now focus all our efforts on rebuilding our railway.”
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