ScotRail has confirmed its services will face widespread disruption when the train operator’s members of the RMT take part in strike action next week.
Today (Thursday, 6 October), the RMT rejected ScotRail’s latest improved pay offer which the train operator had tabled in a bid to resolve the dispute and avert strike action.
The RMT announced that its ScotRail general grades members will take part in 24-hour strike action on Monday, 10 October resulting from the pay dispute with the train operator, which means a very limited number of services will operate on a very limited number of routes.
The dispute is separate from the RMT’s dispute with Network Rail which has seen disruption across the whole Great Britain railway network on a number of days since July.
A large proportion 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.
On the day of strike action, 10 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 (half hourly service).
- Glasgow Central – Lanark (hourly service).
- Glasgow Central – Larkhall (hourly service).
ScotRail 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.
The important messages for customers are:
- There will be no service except on three routes linking Milngavie with Glasgow and Edinburgh, and connecting Glasgow and South Lanarkshire.
- For the routes which will operate a service, customers should only travel if they really need to and should consider alternative options where possible.
The RMT has also advised ScotRail that its general grades members will take part in an overtime and rest day working ban as part of action short of a strike from Friday, 14 October, which will have some impact to ScotRail services until the dispute is resolved.
ScotRail customers will also see disruption to services on the days prior to 10 October due to strike action by RMT members of Network Rail.
Network Rail’s RMT members will take part in 24-hour strike action on Saturday, 8 October, across the Great Britain railway network, resulting from a separate pay dispute with the track and infrastructure operator.
Many of the Network Rail staff that are due to take part in the planned industrial action occupy safety-critical roles and, as such, it will not be possible for ScotRail to run the vast majority of services on 8 October.
ScotRail services will also be disrupted on Sunday, 9 October following the strike action by RMT members of Network Rail. This is due to signal boxes across the country opening at different times throughout the day.
Information on how this strike action will impact ScotRail services can be found on the ScotRail website at www.scotrail.co.uk/strike .
Phil Campbell, ScotRail Head of Customer Operations, said:
“We’re really disappointed that the dispute with the RMT has reached this outcome, given the strength of the improved pay offer ScotRail made.
“This strike action does nothing for the railway’s recovery at this fragile time. It will severely impact our customers and it will also cost our staff through lost wages.
“Due to the large number of ScotRail staff who are members of the RMT, ScotRail customers should expect significant disruption to services on Monday, 10 October, as we won’t be able to operate the vast majority of our services.
“We’re advising customers to seek alternative means of transport and to only travel if they really need to on Monday, 10 October.
“We remain open to resolving 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.