ScotRail advises customers to expect some cancellations as RMT overtime ban gets underway

Last updated: Thursday, 13 October 2022

ScotRail is urging customers to check their journey before travelling, with some late cancellations expected when the trade union members follow an instruction from the RMT not to work any overtime.

The ban on overtime and rest day working is part of action short of a strike from the RMT and follows the 24-hour strike action on Monday, 10 October resulting from a pay dispute with ScotRail.

The RMT rejected ScotRail’s latest improved pay offer which had been tabled in a bid to resolve the dispute and avert strike action. This dispute is separate from the Network Rail RMT dispute that has also resulted in several days of strike action in recent months. ScotRail’s offer included a five per cent basic pay increase, a six-year job guarantee, a £500 one-off payment for the use of technology such as mobile phones, and improved maternity leave conditions. ScotRail also put forward a further £390 payment and enhanced commission for frontline teams.

Over 2,000 of ScotRail’s 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.

The action short of a strike will see some daily cancellations, as the operation of ScotRail services requires rest day working and overtime as recruitment continues.

Information on how this action will impact ScotRail services will be communicated via social media, the ScotRail website, and the ScotRail app.

ScotRail is urging the RMT to put the latest pay offer to its members in a referendum.

Phil Campbell, ScotRail Head of Customer Operations, said:

“We are really disappointed with this additional industrial action, which will again impact on our customers, following the strike action earlier in the week.

“The ban on overtime does nothing for the railway’s recovery during this challenging time, and in addition to the impact on those travelling, it will further cost our staff with lost income.

“We do rely on staff working overtime in various parts of the business as we actively recruit to fill vacancies, and unfortunately there will be some daily cancellations starting from Friday, 14 October, and throughout the period of the RMT’s ban.

“We will do everything we can to minimise the impact on customers, however, there will be some disruption. We advise customers to check their journey before they travel, particularly in the morning before they start their day.

“We are continuing to meet with RMT representatives to resolve this dispute.”


On Tuesday, 4 October, ScotRail met with RMT representatives to discuss the pay offer further, ahead of the union’s planned strike action. During this meeting, ScotRail proposed, self-funded, changes to the offer, which included:

  • 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.
  • Reintroducing a nominal one-off payment in terms of technology acceptance worth £500 for every member of the general grades (pro rata).
  • 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.
  • £390 excess revenue share paid in December pay (less tax and NI contributions and pro rata).

These proposed changes are in addition to the very strong offer that was put to RMT general grades members in a referendum:

  • A 5 per cent increase in basic pay. This is broken down as a 2.2 per cent increase to recognise the cost-of-living challenges (funded by Transport Scotland and paid to all general grades since April 2022), and a further 2.8 per cent increase (to be funded by ScotRail), which recognises and rewards the flexibility of rostering arrangements as ScotRail responds to changes in our markets as we emerge from the pandemic.
  • 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.
  • 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 March 2023 with a five per cent increase.