Britain’s train companies have made a “best and final offer” to the RMT, one of the most prolific unions behind strikes that have rocked the rail network for months.
Workers have been offered a 5% backdated raise for 2022 and a further 4% this year. The Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators in the UK, added that lower-paid staff would be guaranteed a raise of £1,750 ($2,160) in the first year of the deal if this was more than the percentage wage increase.
The RMT said other conditions have been improved since the previous offer last month, such as withdrawing proposals to introduce driver-only operations which remove the need for some other staff on trains or platforms.
Mick Lynch, the RMT’s general secretary, said last week that driver-only operations “will never happen while I’m secretary — it will never happen while the RMT exists.” He previously accused the government of firing a “torpedo” into earlier negotiations by inserting a clause related to driver-only operations.
Lynch said Thursday following the new pay offer that the union “will be considering this matter and has made no decision on the proposals nor any of the elements within them.”
Earlier Thursday, the TSSA — another labor group — said it would ballot thousands of rail workers for more industrial action despite ongoing talks with the RDG.
Train drivers, who are mainly represented by the Aslef labor group, are due to strike again on Feb. 1 and 3. A small number are members of the RMT.
Aslef also said Thursday that its members on the Bakerloo line on London’s Underground had voted to walk out on Feb. 4 and 11 in a row over safety standards.