RMT leadership given fair offer of increased pay and essential reforms to end dispute

Train operating companies have made a best and final offer to the RMT leadership that will improve how the industry delivers services to passengers, in exchange for a pay increase of five and four per cent that respectively covers the 2022 and 2023 pay awards. 

The offer, made through an outline framework agreement, would allow the industry to adapt to significant changes in the ways in which passengers use the railway, while offering rewarding and varied careers for staff. If accepted, it would help recover the industry’s finances post-covid, reducing the burden on taxpayers at a time of significant pressure on public spending. 

The outline agreement sets out a minimum pay increase of nine percent over two years. Those staff who are paid below a certain threshold will receive a guaranteed £1750 in year one, ensuring that lower paid employees benefit most. Pay would be backdated to the relevant 2022 pay award date with employers, enabling staff to benefit from a lump sum payment in the first available pay run. Staff are also guaranteed no compulsory redundancies until at least 31 December 2024, an improvement to the previous offer of 1 April 2024. 

The proposals outline a number of reforms that the companies would implement in partnership with their workforce. Many of these simply extend best practice already in place in parts of the network and include: 

  • The creation of a new multi-skilled station role, with station staff trained and better equipped to take on a range of responsibilities aimed at better meeting the needs of customers.  
  • Creating ‘station groups’ so that staff are more able to move between stations to help passengers, for example where there are staff shortages or where passengers have accessibility needs and require assistance. 
  • The use of part-time contracts and flexible working rosters and patterns to encourage a more diverse workforce able to fit shifts around other commitments.  
  • The formalisation of current voluntary working arrangements on Sundays, helping to reduce delays and disruption for passengers during weekend travel at a time when Sunday travel demand has increased significantly post-covid.  

Alongside changes to working arrangements, the proposals include details of an ambitious re-skilling and re-training programme in customer services, and an apprenticeship scheme to equip young people and others with the skills to build a rewarding career in the railway. A voluntary redundancy scheme will be made available for those who wish to leave the industry.  

The offer does not include any industry proposals to revise the mode of operation of trains but acknowledges that individual train operating companies could separately make proposals to update and revise current on‐board roles - for example reflecting the use of new on-board technology for station/driver dispatch processes. 

Industrial action has cost the industry around £480m in lost ticket revenue since June, on top of its current £2bn fares shortfall post-covid. With staff losing up to £2000 in pay while on strike, the Rail Delivery Group is urging the RMT leadership to put the offer to its membership for a vote, bring an end to the dispute and work together to start rebuilding the railway for the long-term. 

Steve Montgomery, chair of the Rail Delivery Group, said: 

“This is a fair offer that gives RMT members a significant uplift over the next two years - weighted particularly for those on lower incomes who we know are most feeling the squeeze – while allowing the railway to innovate and adapt to new travel patterns. It also means we can offer our people more varied, rewarding careers. 

“With taxpayers still funding up to an extra £175 million a month to make up the shortfall in revenue post-covid, we urge the RMT to put this offer to its members so we can bring an end to this damaging dispute for our people, our passengers and the long-term future of Britain’s railways.” 


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