The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) union chiefs are being urged by the government to “think again” and call off the strikes which will create chaos for millions in the run up to Christmas.
The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) offered RMT members a backdated 4% pay rise for 2022 and to do the same in 2023 and they will not make any compulsory redundancies before April 2024.
Downing Street has waded in trying to put pressure on the RMT insisting the pay deal is the “right offer” but this was rejected.
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RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said that the offer was “rejected” as it “does not meet” their “criteria” over working conditions and a pay increase.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said, “That fundamentally is a decision for the RMT.
“But we do think this is the right offer, it is a significant improvement on what they were offered before and we are confident it represents a good offer for their membership that provides them a significant uplift in pay and certainty, they will get a further uplift the following year.”
The spokesman said the proposed Christmas strikes could be avoided, saying, “We continue to urge the RMT to think again.
“There is still time.
“They have been offered an improved, new deal by the train operators, a 4% increase both this year and next – that’s a change from what was offered before, which was a 3% one-year deal.
“The proposal also backdates to the beginning of the current financial year, meaning staff could go into Christmas having the knowledge that they will receive an improved, back-dated pay rise early in the new year.”
Lynch said, “We have rejected this offer as it does not meet any of our criteria for securing a settlement on long-term job security, a decent pay rise and protecting working conditions.”
The UK is braced for a series of strikes across multiple sectors which will see tens of thousands of wokers walking out over the festive period.
The government has warned that they will not rule out expanding legislation to curb the impact of strikes which will impose minimum service levels on transport which is currently being debated by MPs.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman continued, “Our focus on legislation with regards to strikes is on minimum service levels, the Bill that we introduced in October is the first step in achieving this.
“We are keeping under review what is the right balance with regards to strikes.
“We won’t hesitate to bring forward changes if we judge they are required.”