The RMT Union has won an above-inflation pay deal with Network Rail and has written to the track and infrastructure operator to formally accept the deal.
The union’s executive accepted the deal on the recommendation of its representatives in Network Rail. The settlement comprises an increase of 3.2% to basic rates of pay including a minimum uplift of at least £555 (pro rata for part time working) and, with effect from 1 January 2020, an increase to basic rates of pay of the value of the increase to the November 2019 retail price index (RPI) published in December 2019. This will include a minimum uplift of at least £575 (pro rata for part time working).
It follows a public row last year where the transport secretary Chris Grayling said pay awards should be pegged to the lower consumer price index (CPI) rather than the RPI measure of inflation.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “We have negotiated an inflation busting deal with Network Rail which maintains a link to RPI and gives a minimum uplift of wages.
“I’d like to congratulate the RMT reps who ensured that we have a decent two year deal with job security for our members.”
Last August Grayling said: “One of the industry’s largest costs is pay. I support paying rail staff decent wages for the hard work they do, but I also now believe it is important that pay agreements also use CPI and not RPI in future when it comes to basing pay deals on inflation.”
He added: “CPI is the measure that’s used in the health service, education, across most of the public sector and elsewhere, and it seems to me to be wrong that the rail unions are saying that they should be different, that their annual pay rises should be a notch above what is the norm elsewhere.”
In response at the time, Cash said: “If Chris Grayling seriously thinks that front line rail workers are going to pay the price for his gross incompetence and the greed of the private train companies, he’s got another thing coming.
“This is a basket case government and a lame duck transport secretary continuing its all-out war on staff and passengers alike. RMT will fight any attempt to impose a pay cap on our members in a drive to protect private train company profits.”