March 20, 2023 6.00 pm This story is over 7 months old

Lincolnshire train strikes still planned as union accepts new pay offer

Possibly a major breakthrough in rail union negotiations

Train strikes in Lincolnshire are still set to go ahead later this month, although there are hopes of an end to the dispute.

The RMT accepted Network Rail’s new pay offer on Monday.

However, disputes are still ongoing with 14 other rail operators.

Industrial action is planned for Thursday, March 30 and Saturday, April 1, likely leaving Lincolnshire with barely any rail service once again.

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers has been embroiled in a year-long dispute with 14 train operators and Network Rail, over pay, conditions and job security for their members.

It has seen regular strike action and picket lines impact the rail sector, as workers put their foot down and demand fairer terms, but significant progress has now been made.

The RMT accused Network Rail and the government of prioritising profit over people. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

In a near 90% turnout, RMT members voted by 76% to 24% in favour of Network Rail’s updated offer for its signalling workers.

The offer made to the RMT will see a 14.4% salary uplift for the lowest paid grades, 9.2% for the highest paid, as well as basic earning boosts of up to 15.2%.

The ‘no compulsory redundancy’ agreement has been renewed until January 2025, backpay has been increased and rail travel benefits will be discounted in other key aspects of this deal.

However, this is a deal for the RMT’s 20,000 members that work for Network Rail only, meaning that disputes with 14 train companies are yet to be resolved.

This means that upcoming strike action on Thursday, March 30 and Saturday, April 1 will go ahead as planned, unless new offers are made by the 14 rail operators currently locked in disputes with the RMT.

Timetables for these strike days are yet to be released, but it is increasingly likely that the trend of Lincolnshire having next to no rail services on affected days will continue.

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

LNER, one of the rail operators involved in the dispute, has removed tickets from sale for Thursday, March 30 and Saturday, April 1 while new timetables are revised.

RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said: “Our dispute with the Train Operating Companies remains firmly on and our members recent highly effective strike action across the fourteen train companies has shown their 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 but until then the strike action scheduled for March 30 and April 1 will take place. The ball is in the government’s court.”

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