RMT lays forth a “road map” for negotiations as a new strike affects rail services.

RMT lays forth a “road map” for negotiations as a new strike affects rail services.

The largest union representing rail workers has proposed a “road map” to find a mutually agreed settlement in the ongoing deadlock regarding employment, wages, and working conditions.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) has communicated to the Rail Delivery Group its suggestion that both parties collaborate to find a resolution to the dispute.

This initiative comes as 20,000 members of the RMT engaged in a new strike, leading to significant service disruptions. Trains commenced later than usual on Saturday and will end earlier, with some areas experiencing a complete absence of services for the entire day.

Notable events like the Leeds and Reading festivals, Notting Hill Carnival, and sports fixtures have been impacted by the strike.

Further industrial action is planned by the RMT for September 2, while members of the drivers’ union Aslef will strike on September 1, potentially causing multiple days of service interruption.

Apart from the ongoing dispute over jobs and conditions, rail unions are also entangled in a contentious disagreement regarding the proposed closure of railway ticket offices. These plans have sparked discontent among passenger groups, as well as organizations representing elderly and disabled passengers.

Over 460,000 individuals have participated in a consultation concerning these plans. A protest is set to take place opposite Downing Street on August 31, a day prior to the consultation’s conclusion.

In a letter disclosed on Saturday, RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch conveyed, “I am of the belief that both parties recognize the necessity to navigate a path to resolve the conflict.” He outlined a sequence of proposed steps:

  • A one-year pay proposal encompassing the 2022-2023 period for all companies, with retroactive effect to relevant anniversary dates in 2022.
  • A commitment to prevent compulsory redundancies.
  • An agreement to defer discussions between RMT and the companies, including formal consultations and negotiations, until the Government provides an outcome and determination regarding the ticket office closures consultation. Furthermore, these discussions will not commence prior to December 1, 2023.
  • Assurance that existing collective bargaining structures and processes within each company will be fully respected and adhered to, including appropriate consultations and negotiations based on the relevant scope. If necessary, the Avoidance of Dispute mechanisms will be employed.
  • Commitment that wage negotiations for the year 2023-2024 will initiate from December 1, 2023.

By following this stepwise program, the aim is to provide clarity to the entire industry. This includes receiving a retroactive pay increment for the preceding year (2022-2023), assuring continued employment, and addressing the proposed changes in line with respective company protocols.

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