Rail disruption looms as union rejects pay offer

The
Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) railworkers union has rejected a
pay offer by Network Rail, making industrial action by rail staff increasingly
more likely.

The
dispute centres on a pay offer of 3.5 per cent, the implementation of a money
purchase scheme pension to replace the final salary pension scheme for new
employees, and travel facilities for 2,000 non-management staff.

Network
Rail called the pay offer ‘inflation busting’ and said the pension scheme for
new employees was one of the best in the market.

However,
TSSA’s general secretary Gerry Doherty said he had no doubt union members would
call for industrial action.

"Morale
at Network Rail is at an all-time low following massive redundancies last year
and plans to close the final salary pension scheme to new entrants," he
said.

The
union, which represents 4,000 members in Network Rail, will now ask its members
if they are willing to take industrial action short of a strike, or industrial
action up to and including a strike.

The
results of the referendum ballot are expected on 7 May.

By Michael Millar

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