Scotland’s national rail operator will restart talks on Tuesday with a major transport union in a bid to avert strike action during the summer.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union allegedly turned a similar 5% pay increase offer tabled to ScotRail drivers from Aslef down last week – though bosses deny this.
The newly-nationalised firm has claimed the “use of new technologies” was a major sticking point for the union’s workers, with a senior manager citing “mobile phones to check electronic tickets” as an example of the impasse.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the offer – more than double the initial 2.2% branded “derisory” by the union – had not been rejected and “would be considered” by their national executive committee next week.
Around 2.8% of that was to come from ScotRail itself, while an additional 2.2% would come from Transport Scotland – a higher rise than most in the public sector.
RMT represents ticket examiners, conductors, station staff and cleaners, but not drivers.
Lynch added: “This matter has not been considered by our National Executive Committee and will be put before them next week so they can make a decision.”
Scotland’s rail links have been thrown into chaos in recent weeks after Aslef staff opted against working overtime and on rest days in action against the offered increase.
It resulted in hundreds of services across the country being cancelled or operating under severely reduced timetables.
Football fans and concert-goers in some of Scotland’s largest cities faced leaving events early in order to board the final trains home or risk being stranded with no way to get back.
Sunday services were also slashed, however there does now appear to be light at the end of the tunnel after Aslef agreed in principle to the latest deal.
The offer will now be put to Aslef’s executive committee which will meet next Wednesday with the union’s entire negotiating team recommending acceptance.
If passed, it is then set be considered by union members and voted on in a referendum.
It also includes the Sunday working allowance increased by 10%, an increase in minimum flat rate pay to £10.50 per hour, and the current rest day working agreement to be extended with a 5% increase.
Meanwhile, RMT members are planning to strike across the UK next week. Workers will walk out on June 21, 23 and 25 amid the dispute but Network Rail say the entire week will be affected.
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