12 May 2015
RMT Press Office
RMT confirms overwhelming vote for industrial action over Network Rail pay
The largest rail union, RMT, today confirmed that members have voted YES by massive majorities in a ballot of Network Rail members for both strike action and action short of a strike in the current dispute over pay.
NR members have voted by 80% for strike action on a 60% turn out and by 92% for action short of strike action. The vote comfortably outstrips even the rigged criteria proposed by the tories in the next raft of anti union laws expected in the Queens Speech. The mandate for action will now be considered by RMT'S executive which will decide on the next steps in taking the dispute forwards.
RMT has rejected the latest NR pay proposals as falling well short of what is required to maintain the living standards, the job security and the working conditions for nearly 16,000 staff across NR operations and maintenance.
Intensive talks through ACAS have failed to produce enough movement from Network Rail leaving the union with no alternative but to move to the national industrial action vote.
The current pay package proposals which RMT has put into dispute are summarised as follows.
- 2015 – A £500 non-consolidated lump sum payment.
- 2016, 2017, 2018 - An RPI level of inflation increase in pay would be applied for each year.
- The “No Compulsory Redundancy” commitment would be extended until 31st December 2016.
Up to 16,000 RMT members will be balloted in all areas of Network Rail in the industrial action vote.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Our members have today decisively rejected the pay package offered by Network Rail. This is a massive mandate for action and shows the anger of safety-critical staff across the rail network at attacks on their standards of living and their job security. It is now down to NR to start taking this issue seriously, to understand the deep-seated grievance felt by their staff and to come forward with a renewed offer which protects pay and jobs.
"The union executive will now consider this overwhelming mandate for action and decide on our next steps aimed at securing pay and workplace justice.
“As far as we are concerned the 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 at a time when the company is generating profits of £1 billion. 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.
“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.
“RMT remains available for talks and we hope that the company will appreciate the anger amongst staff at the current offer on pay and conditions from Network Rail reflected in this ballot result and that they will agree to our call to come back to the table with an improved package.”