There appears to have been a breakthrough in the long running rail strikes, as the RMT union says that is putting a new offer to its members.
The strikes over pay and conditions have been ongoing for 18 months. In a carefully worded statement, the RMT says that it has an agreement with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents the train companies for a “mutually agreed way forward, including a backdated 2022 pay rise for staff and job security guarantees.”
However, the offer is not an end to the strikes but just a pause in the strikes over the Christmas period and into Spring next year, allowing more discussions to take place. The discussions that could then take place would be aimed at addressing the companies’ proposals on the changing needs and expectations of passengers as well as unlocking further increases for staff.
The RMT said that the offer would be put to its members in each Train Operating Company in a referendum vote.
In a recent ballot to renew the RMT’s strike mandate, 90% of those voting did so in favour of more strikes, although on a turnout of just 64%.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “This is a welcome development and our members will now decide in an e-referendum whether they want to accept this new offer from the RDG.”
The referenda across the 14 train operators in the national dispute will close on Thursday 30th November 2023.
The deal won’t stop strikes by the train drivers union, Aslef, which is in a different dispute with the train companies.
However, on the same day, the government confirmed that it will be pushing ahead with a consultation on plans to require a minimum level of service on the railways in times of strike action, which the RMT is strongly opposed to.