RMT strike action to go ahead on Saturday after union rejects improved offer

Last updated: Monday, 24 July 2023

RMT strike action will go ahead on Saturday (29 October) after the RMT’s Company Council and National Executive Committee (NEC) rejected ScotRail’s latest improved offer without giving staff a say. The offer would have seen the lowest paid staff receive a basic pay increase of almost 7.5 per cent.

ScotRail proposed consolidating the one-off technology payment into basic pay on top of the 5 per cent already offered, this was worth £500 per member for all general grade staff (pro-rata). This would have meant an improvement on the previous offer of a 5 per cent increase in basic pay:

The improved element of the offer was conditional on the suspension of this weekend’s strike action by the RMT, and the offer being put to the union’s members. Given the RMT’s refusal to do either of those things, the improved element of the offer has been withdrawn.

ScotRail is reminding customers that its services across Scotland will face widespread disruption when the train operator’s members of the RMT trade union take part in a day of strike action this weekend.

ScotRail general grades RMT members will take part in 24-hour strike action on Saturday, 29 October - the second day of strike action as part of the trade union’s dispute over pay with the train operator. It follows industrial action on Monday, 10 October.

More than 2,000 ScotRail employees are members of the RMT, including in roles such as conductors, ticket examiners, hospitality, station staff (including train dispatch), engineering depot staff, train presentation, supervisors, resource co-ordinators, and CCTV operators – though not all employees in these roles are trade union members.

For ScotRail customers, this means widespread disruption across the country, with only a very limited number of ScotRail services operating on a small number of routes.

On the day of strike action, 29 October, ScotRail has confirmed it will only be able to operate a limited service between 07.30 and 18.30 on the following three routes:

  • Milngavie – Edinburgh Waverley via Glasgow Queen Street Low Level (half hourly service).
  • Glasgow Central – Lanark (hourly service).
  • Glasgow Central – Larkhall (hourly service).

The train operator is only able to provide this very limited service due to the number of contingency staff required to cover the shifts of those on strike.

It means there will be a very limited service for rugby fans heading to Scotland’s first autumn international match against Australia with fans advised to consider alternative arrangements.

The important messages for ScotRail customers are:

  1. There will be no service except on three routes linking Milngavie with Glasgow and Edinburgh, and connecting Glasgow and South Lanarkshire.
  2. For the routes which will operate a service, customers should only travel if they really need to and should consider alternative options where possible.

ScotRail members of the RMT’s general grades are also currently taking part in an overtime and rest day working ban as part of action short of a strike. This has seen some daily cancellations across the ScotRail network since Friday, 14 October, as the train operator requires rest day working and overtime while recruitment continues.

More information on the impact of strike action to ScotRail services, including ScotRail’s refund policy, can be found on the ScotRail website at scotrail.co.uk/strike .

Phil Campbell, ScotRail Head of Customer Operations, said:

“It’s really disappointing that the RMT has refused to put this improved offer to its members so they can have a say.

“Further strike action has a damaging effect on railway’s recovery at a time when we should be encouraging more people to travel. Instead, our customers are being severely impacted and our staff losing out through lost wages.

“Regrettably, we won’t be able to operate the vast majority of our services on Saturday, 29 October, and customers should expect significant disruption to services due to the large proportion of ScotRail staff who are members of the RMT trade union.

“We’re advising customers, including rugby fans intending to travel to Scotland’s first autumn international at Murrayfield, to seek alternative means of transport and to only travel by train if they really need to.

“We remain open to resolving this dispute.”


The full offer that was made to the RMT is follows:

  • A 5 per cent increase in basic pay, plus £500 technology payment consolidated into basic pay.
  • An excess revenue share premium, up to £195 per period (less tax and NI contributions and pro rata), which rewards all colleagues where ScotRail exceeds revenue budget targets. £390 would be paid the general grades staff in December as ScotRail exceeded revenue targets in in April and May.
  • An improvement in maternity and adoption leave payments comprising of 13 weeks average pay, then 13 weeks at 50 per cent standard pay, then 13 weeks at statutory maternity pay.
  • Sunday working allowance (SWA) increased by 10 per cent.
  • An increase in minimum flat rate pay to £10.50 per hour.
  • Rest Day Working – the current agreement extended to 31 October 2023 with a five per cent increase.
  • Introducing a ‘2p per-scan’ commission for mobile ticketing for the relevant staff.
  • Introducing a 3 per cent commission payment for all gate and manual barrier staff.
  • Increasing the no compulsory redundancies guarantee from five years to six years.
  • The commitment to bring Sundays into the working week within a five-year period with full implementation by the 2027 December timetable will be moved to a joint working group and taken out of the pay offer.
  • Twenty-two bronze ticket offices moved to silver classification with a further review in March 2023.