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THE long-running dispute between RMT and Network Rail ended today after the rail union announced that its members have voted to accept the company’s latest offer on pay, jobs and working conditions.
The union confirmed that 76 per cent of its 20,000 members at the state-run infrastructure firm have backed the proposals — which include an inflation-busting wage boost for the lowest paid — on a turnout of nearly 90 per cent.
RMT is still in dispute with 14 private train operating companies, with more walkouts set for March 30 and April 1, but today’s development is a significant breakthrough following nine months of intermittent national strikes.
General secretary Mick Lynch said that when the first Network Rail walkout was launched in June last year, RMT was told workers would only get “2 to 3 per cent.
“But since then strikes and the inspiring solidarity and determination of members has secured new money and a new offer.”
The deal includes a salary uplift of between 14.4 per cent for the lowest-paid grades and 9.2 per cent for the highest-paid.
The workforce is also set to benefit from increased back pay, a commitment of no compulsory redundancies until January 2025 and discounted rail travel benefits, the union said.
The union also praised members for forcing bosses to U-turn on claims that any offer must be conditional on RMT accepting the company’s “modernising maintenance” agenda.
Mr Lynch now urged Tory ministers to allow train operators to “make the right offer” so strikes across the network can end.
Talks in that dispute appear close to collapse after employer body the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) threatened to make RMT negotiate with each company separately earlier this month.
White-collar rail union TSSA has already settled with both Network Rail and the RDG.
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