Hope for commuters as workers accept Network Rail pay offer in bid to stop train chaos | The Sun

COMMUTERS have been given festive hope as rail workers have accepted a pay offer from Network Rail to stop train chaos over Christmas.

Members of the TSSA Union have voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking the rail company's offer and calling off strikes which were set to wreak havoc on commuters and Christmas travellers.

The offer will give most workers a raise of 9% over two years, with 5% this year and 4% next year, while those on the lowest salaries will see an 11% bump to their pay packets.

TSSA members backed the deal by a majority of 85% in their latest ballot.

However, the union remains in a dispute with train operators over pay, conditions and the prospect of job losses.

This means that, while union members working on Network Rail lines won't strike, staff of individual private train operators may still walk out.


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The Organising Director of the TSSA, Luke Chester, said: "This is a decisive result, with our members roundly endorsing this offer. It's great news and a great deal for our members in Network Rail.

"It just shows what can be done through negotiations when there's a serious offer on the table.

"Let me be clear though – this has only come about because our members stood together, taking strike action to get a fair settlement when the company had failed to listen."

He added: "The result is a fair pay settlement amounting to at least a 9% increase for this year and next – at least 11% for those on lower salaries – plus job security and the nailing down of our terms and conditions.

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"This could and should have been done months ago, but we are pleased with the result.

"However, the deal in Network Rail is significantly better than anything which has been proposed by the train operating companies and our fight goes on there, with members continuing to take industrial action."

The larger RMT Union, run by Mick Lynch, has refused to accept the pay offer and is still scheduled to take strike action over the festive period.

A marginal 63% of RMT members voted against taking the deal on an 83% turnout last week.

That's down from the 91% who voted to continue striking in November, when turnout was 70%.

It comes after The Sun reported that support for Mr Lynch was crumbling as it was revealed that his members would lose an average of £5,000 for striking, while he takes home £84,000 a year.

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