20th March 2023 – (London) The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) announced on Monday that its 20,000 members had accepted an improved pay offer from Network Rail, bringing an end to months of disruptive strikes. The RMT ballot had a turnout of nearly 90 percent, with 76 percent voting to accept the new offer covering pay, jobs, and conditions.
This improved offer includes a salary hike of 14.4 percent for the lowest-paid grades and 9.2 percent for the highest paid, as well as the renewal of the no compulsory redundancy agreement until January 2025. Network Rail owns and maintains the U.K.’s train infrastructure. “I’m pleased that RMT members were able to vote on this offer and the overwhelming vote in favour is good news for our people, our passengers and our country,” said Network Rail Chief Executive Andrew Haines in a statement. The announcement is considered a breakthrough and raises hopes for further settlements.
The U.K. has been in the grip of widespread rail walkouts since the summer of 2022 as consistent high inflation has caused a worsening cost-of-living crisis. However, planned strikes by RMT members at 14 train operating companies are still expected to go ahead later this month and in April. Disputes with these companies had yet to be settled, and recent walkouts had shown RMT’s determination to secure a better deal, said Mick Lynch, the union’s general secretary.