ScotRail set to resume talks with union over driver pay dispute 

A third of train services have been cancelled after drivers refused to work overtime or on rest days.

ScotRail to resume talks with union Aslef over train driver pay dispute which led to reduced timetable iStock

ScotRail are set to resume talks with a train drivers union over a pay dispute, which has seen more than 700 rail services cut. 

Last week Aslef rejected a ‘derisory’ 4.2% pay offer, warning that if an agreement cannot be reached, the union could ballot for industrial action.

Train drivers have refused to work overtime or on rest days, which led to the newly-nationaised rail company introducing a temporary timetable in May, cutting a third of services. 

It comes as half of ScotRail services were cancelled on Sunday on the last day of the bank holiday weekend.

Kevin Lindsay, the union’s Scottish organiser, has said that he believes a deal is “close” and that the ball is in ScotRail’s court.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme last week, he said: “Aslef members have told us clearly this offer doesn’t meet their aspirations, the National Executive said it doesn’t meet the aspirations.

“So, we will sit down and negotiate and try and get a deal which is acceptable, and I look forward to meeting with ScotRail on Monday.

“If we get an improved offer, and acceptable offer, there will be no strike action. It’s as simple as that.

“The ball is clearly in ScotRail’s court now, they can come up with an improved offer using the money that is already there in this package.

“Let’s get a deal sorted, let’s get the railway running, that is what we want.”

ScotRail said it was “incredibly disappointed and frustrated” that Aslef bosses had rejected the improved pay offer.

At the weekend, it introduced a temporary timetable for Sundays, which followed the introduction of temporary timetables for the other days of the week.

The company said the temporary timetable would provide “greater certainty and reliability” for customers.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “We are disappointed that Aslef, having given due consideration to the terms they negotiated, have decided to reject the very good offer on the table, an offer which is in part self-funded through increased revenue and efficiencies.

“While we understand any union’s desire to obtain the best deal possible for their members, the stark realities of the financial pressures we are facing across Government are evidenced by the Spending Review.

“We all need to work together to make nationalisation a success. Ministers are committed to ensuring that the railway unions are part of that success.

“However, to be part of the vision moving forward, the unions need to agree on a deal that is both fair and affordable, particularly in the context of wider public sector pay policy.”

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