5 May 2015
RMT Press Office
RAIL UNION RMT today called on Network Rail bosses to recognise the commitment, effort and sheer professionalism of their staff in the current pay dispute as union members worked round the clock throughout the bank holiday weekend to deliver a massive programme of works across the country.
Although punishing targets had been set, with NR once again attempting to squeeze a quart into a pint pot, it was down to the staff currently being balloted for action for a fair pay award and job security, that the works were delivered on schedule.
Unrelated disruption this morning due to another power supply problem on Southern has also once again reinforced the union case that services are constantly running on the edge with only the continued heroic efforts of the Network Rail workforce keeping Britain moving.
Ballot papers in the current dispute over pay and job security were issued last week, with 16,000 staff involved, and the ballot closes next Tuesday – 12th May.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The delivery of the Bank Holiday weekend engineering works, against a background of massive pressures, backlogs of work and nigh-on impossible targets is down to one thing – the skill, professionalism and sheer hard graft of the Network Rail workforce. It is a scandal that those same staff who were heroes over the weekend are being forced to ballot to secure the basics of fair pay and job security.
“RMT has made it clear that a one off, non-consolidated, lump-sum payment this year is wholly inadequate and fails to recognise the massive pressures staff are working under to keep services running. It is our members battling to keep Britain moving around the clock and they deserve a fair share from Network Rail for their incredible efforts. This a company making profits of a billion pounds a year where the boardroom is awash with cash.
“In addition, we are extremely concerned that the “No Compulsory Redundancy” commitment only applies to the first two years of the four year deal.
“RMT is in no doubt that this leaves Operations and Maintenance members extremely vulnerable, especially with the continued development of Rail Operating Centres and the on-going cuts programme at Network Rail.
“Our rail staff deserve a fair reward for the high-pressure, safety-critical work that they undertake day and night and the last thing that we need is a demoralised, burnt-out workforce living in fear for their futures and the message has come back loud and clear that that is exactly how they feel about the current offer from Network Rail.”