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RMT rejects new pay offer and calls for urgent talks




The
RMT
has
turned
down
a
new
pay
offer
from
the
operators
who
belong
to
the
Rail
Delivery
Group,
describing
it
as
‘not
acceptable’.
The
union
is
demanding
a
meeting
today
as
the
first
of
the
Christmas
strikes
get
nearer.



The
offer
consisted
of
a
‘framework
agreement’,which
would
have
funded
pay
increases
of
up
to
8
per
cent
for
the
pay
awards
in
2022
and
2023.



The
RDG
said:
‘This
is
a
fair
and
affordable
offer
in
challenging
times,
providing
a
significant
uplift
in
salary
for
staff.
If
approved
by
the
RMT,
implementation
could
be
fast-tracked
to
ensure
staff
go
into
Christmas
secure
in
the
knowledge
that
they
will
receive
this
enhanced
pay
award
early
in
the
New
Year
alongside
a
guarantee
of
job
security
until
April
2024.



‘With
revenue
stuck
at
20
per
cent
below
pre-pandemic
levels
and
many
working
practices
unchanged
in
decades,
taxpayers
who
have
contributed
£1,800
per
household
to
keep
the
railway
running
in
recent
years,
will
balk
at
continuing
to
pump
billions
of
pounds
a
year
into
an
industry
that
desperately
needs
to
move
forward
with
long-overdue
reforms
and
that
alienates
potential
customers
with
sustained
industrial
action.



‘We
urge
the
RMT
leadership
to
put
this
offer
to
its
membership
and
remove
the
threat
of
a
month
of
industrial
action
over
Christmas
that
will
upset
the
travel
plans
of
millions
and
cause
real
hardship
for
businesses
which
depend
on
Christmas
custom.
Instead,
we
urge
the
RMT
to
move
forward
together
with
us
and
so
we
can
give
our
people
a
pay
rise
and
deliver
an
improved
railway
with
a
sustainable,
long-term
future
for
those
who
work
on
it.’



The
offer
includes
changes
to
working
practices
which
would
’formalise’
the
current
voluntary
Sunday
working
arrangements,
introduce
part
time
contracts
and
‘flexible
working‘
rosters,
and
also
see
the
creation
of
‘multi-skilled’
station
staff,
who
would
be
‘equipped
to
take
on
a
range
of
responsibilities’.



RMT
general
secretary
Mick
Lynch
said
last
night:
‘We
have
rejected
this
offer
as
it
does
not
meet
any
of
our
criteria
for
securing
a
settlement
on
long
term
job
security,
a
decent
pay
rise
and
protecting
working
conditions.



‘The
RDG
and
DfT
who
sets
their
mandate,
both
knew
this
offer
would
not
be
acceptable
to
RMT
members. 



‘If
this
plan
was
implemented,
it
would
not
only
mean
the
loss
of
thousands
of
jobs
but
the
use
of
unsafe
practices
such
as
DOO
and
would
leave
our
railways
chronically
understaffed.



‘RMT
is
demanding
an
urgent
meeting
with
the
RDG
tomorrow
morning
with
a
view
to
securing
a
negotiated
settlement
on
job
security,
working
conditions
and
pay.’



The
union
added
that
Network
Rail
has
also
made
a
‘complex
offer
on
pay
and
working
practices‘
which
its
National
Executive
Committee
will
discuss
today.



Transport
minister
Mark
Harper
was
quick
to
respond
to
the
RMT’s
reaction,
saying:
‘The
RMT
has
been
offered
an
improved
new
deal
by
the
train
operating
companies
and
has
rejected
it
outright.
The
situation
is
incredibly
disappointing,
and
unfair
to
the
public,
passengers
and
the
rail
workforce
who
want
a
deal.



‘Our
railways
need
to
modernise.
There’s
no
place
for
outdated
working
practices
that
rely
on
voluntary
overtime
to
run
a
reliable
seven-day
service.
Passengers
should
also
receive
the
service
they’ve
paid
for.
This
deal
will
help
get
trains
running
on
time.



‘The
government
continues
to
play
its
part
in
trying
to
facilitate
a
resolution
to
this
dispute,
while
rightly
letting
the
employers
do
the
negotiating.
Now
it’s
for
the
unions
to
play
their
part
too
by
putting
the
offer
from
the
train
operating
companies
to
their
members
and
call
off
industrial
action
that
would
damage
the
rail
industry,
rail
workers
and
the
wider
economy.’



Unless
there
is
a
breakthrough,
walkouts
by
40,000
RMT
railway
members
are
still
set
to
go
ahead
in
pairs
of
48-hour
strikes
separated
by
one
day
in
each
case,
when
disruption
is
also
likely.



They
will
affect
14
train
operators
and
Network
Rail
on
13-14
and
16-17
December,
and
on
3-4
and
6-7
January.

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