RMT union members at Network Rail have voted to accept a revised pay offer – ending months of rowing over jobs, pay and conditions.

Members have voted to finally end the bitter dispute that has resulted in months of strikes.

The ballot had a 90 percent participation rate, with 76 percent voting in favour of the terms.

Network Rail staff like signalers and railway maintenance personnel are eligible for the new offer.

Read More: RMT union suspends Network Rail strikes later this month after new pay offer

Britain’s railway infrastructure is owned, operated, maintained, and developed by Network Rail.

However, the move won’t completely end rail strike action, as disputes still continue in other areas of the sector.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said he was “very pleased with a very resounding decision” by RMT’s Network Rail members but called on the union to put an offer, which he said is very similar, to its members working for train operators.

The offer Network Rail members chose would result in pay increases ranging from 9.2 percent for the best paid to up to 14.4 percent for the lowest paid.

Read More: More rail strikes on the way as RMT rejects eight percent pay rise

It translates to an overall increase in basic pay ranging from 10.3 percent for the highest-paid grades to 15.2 percent for the lowest-paid grades.

The union says the majority of RMT members in Network Rail—55 percent—earn less than £35,000 annually, making them eligible for the 15.2 percent raise over a two-year period.

Andrew Haines, chief executive of Network Rail, praised everyone involved and expressed his appreciation for the “overwhelming” vote in favour of the salary offer.

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He said:  “My team and I will now focus all our efforts on rebuilding our railway so we can provide a better service for our passengers and freight customers.”

The RMT national executive did not propose that members accept or reject the offer, but it did order a suspension of strikes during the voting period.

Additional terms of the agreement include 75 percent off leisure travel, which Network Rail members have long sought, and a moratorium on forced redundancies until January 2025.

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The RMT union members’ referendum began on March 9 and ended at noon on Monday, March 20.

When the RMT last submitted a Network Rail offer to its members, it advised them to reject it; in December 2022, just 36 percent of members chose to accept the offer as it was.

Guards and other train company employees who are RMT members are set to resume their strike action.

There is still no agreement with the 14 train operating firms whose interests the Rail Delivery Group is representing.

This means passengers will continue to experience delays as a result of the walkouts scheduled for March 30 and April 1.

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Mr. Harper said on Monday: “My plea to the RMT is to put this offer to your members who work for train operating companies.

“Members haven’t had the chance to consider this offer at all.”

He commended the RMT to abandon upcoming strikes and let members have a vote as the Network Rail members’ outcome clearly shows “it is time to accept a deal that works, not only for their interests but for passengers too”.

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But RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Strike action and the inspiring solidarity and determination of members have secured new money and a new offer which has been clearly accepted by our members and that dispute is now over.”

He said the disagreement with the train operating companies remains “firmly on” and recent strikes had shown members’ “determination to secure a better deal”.

“If the government now allows the train companies to make the right offer, we can then put that to our members.”

Until then, the planned walkouts would take place, he said, adding: “The ball is in the government’s court.”

Source:   Sky News

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