Modernising Maintenance - Network Rail

Our ref: HSR

Head Office Circular: NP/157/24

25th June 2024

To: The Secretary




Dear Colleague




Referring to Head Office Circular NP/85/24, dated 9th April, at its meeting on 20th June 2024, your National Executive Committee (NEC) considered a report from the lead officer noting that our NEC and National Safety and National Maintenance Council representatives met to review the Modernising Maintenance programme at the point of the company's 6-month post-implementation review (PIR). 


Our representatives have undertaken extensive member engagement to ascertain the impact of Modernising Maintenance on safety, fatigue, staffing, maintenance performance and related issues. The quality of their work is excellent and has been recognised by individual members and branches alike. 


Noting that the RMT did not agree to adopt the Modernising Maintenance programme and that the company imposed these changes during industrial action at the behest of the government and supported by the Office of Rail & Road, we remind our membership and Network Rail that the Union counselled that these changes would negatively impact the wellbeing of maintenance staff, the performance of the maintenance organisation and the safety culture in Network Rail, as experienced by frontline maintenance workers.  


Our representatives have identified issues related to staffing, fatigue/ work-life balance/ low morale and safety that are negatively impacted by the Modernising Maintenance programme, in line with the clear warnings made by the Union. 


We regard the industrial and safety consultation processes undertaken by Network Rail as having failed to address these.


Having considered this report, your NEC resolved as follows:


We note the lead officer’s report relating to the imposition of the so called “Modernisation Maintenance” programme by Network Rail.


We further note the good work carried out by our representatives engaging with our maintenance members on the ground and producing surveys and outputs which clearly highlight the failures of “Modernising Maintenance” implementation.  


The RMT raised serious concerns pre-implementation of this failed program:


  1. Inadequate staffing
  2. Work/ life balance of our members
  3. Reduced safety
  4. Performance of maintenance function.


We do not believe these issues have been addressed during the industrial & safety consultation.


We instruct the General Secretary to carry out the following contained in the lead officer’s report:


  1. A summary of PIR (post-implementation review) process and our views on its efficacy in addressing RMT concerns 
  2. A summary of the issues identified by our representatives 
  3. Industrial demands addressing the above
  4. We produce a survey and engagement plan for the 12-month PIR
  5. We produce guidance for our representatives tasked with consultation at 12-month PIR, including a summary of our current engagement findings by route and region
  6. We produce member guidance on the avoidance of taking shortcuts under management and performance pressure
  7. We request national route performance data and national functional audit information 
  8. We remind members that they will receive the full support of this trade union if they feel their safety is being compromised and wish to invoke the worksafe procedure. 


We further instruct the General Secretary to convene a meeting of our National Maintenance Council/ National Safety Council (NMC/NSC) Representatives with the NEC & Policy department following the completion of the above steps.


Members, branches and regional councils to be informed. 


I am acting in line with these instructions.


Please bring this circular to the attention of all relevant members.


Yours sincerely




Michael Lynch

General Secretary