Skip to main content

Scottish government blocking pay rise for rail workers while paying emergency ‘management fees’ to ScotRail

THE Scottish government is blocking a pay rise for rail workers while paying “management fees” to ScotRail, which is owned by the Dutch state, a leaked internal memo has revealed.

The memo, sent by Scotrail chief operating officer Alex White to staff, who are being balloted for strike action over pay, was obtained by rail union RMT.

It says: “ScotRail requires permission from the Scottish government to enter pay talks and subsequent approval for any increase in costs.

“To date, following very regular discussions with Transport Scotland on this matter, ScotRail has not received that permission from the Scottish government, given the uncertainty that currently exists over the future of the public finances and the settlement from the UK government.”

Answering a question from Labour MSP Colin Smyth, the Scottish government admitted that emergency “management fees” are being paid to Scotrail during the pandemic.

RMT argued that the fee could be up to £12 million, just a portion of which could instead fund a pay rise for the Scotrail workforce.

General secretary Mick Cash said: “This memo shows Scottish ministers are blocking pay negotiations, even though these key workers were due a settlement back in April.

“At the same time, ministers have made the decision to pay Dutch state-owned ScotRail a fee, as well as covering the day-to-day cost of running the railway.

“If Dutch-owned Scotrail can be paid a fee, then they can pay Scottish rail workers a decent pay rise.”

Government body Transport Scotland was invited to comment.


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 8,982
We need:£ 9,018
8 Days remaining
Donate today