Reinstatement of final-salary pension scheme halts strike action

The
RMT union has suspended planned industrial action after Network Rail agreed to
re-open the company’s final-salary pension scheme to new members.

Around
7,000 signal workers and maintenance staff were set to walk out next Tuesday.

RMT
general secretary Bob Crow said: "Our position has always been that
retaining a final-salary pension scheme that provides dignity and security in
retirement for our members was the key to settling this dispute.

"Our
members will now have the final say, and if they vote to reject the offer, we
will re-ballot for industrial action," Bob Crow said.

Network
Rail has offered to re-open the final salary pension scheme to new employees
upon completion of five years’ service.

That
service would include any agency or sub-contractor service in the rail industry
prior to transferring into Network Rail.

Employees
with less than five years’ service would join a money-purchase scheme, but
would be able to transfer into the final-salary scheme after five years.

The
offer also includes a 3.5 per cent pay increase and the introduction of a
35-hour week by 2006.

By Michael Millar

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