Rail strikes to go ahead as RMT rejects new offer
Passengers can expect disruption during COP26
Strikes on the Scottish rail network are expected to go ahead as planned during COP26 despite new attempts to resolve a pay dispute.
Two of four rail unions were prepared to accept a revised offer, a third is recommending acceptance, but the RMT union has rejected the new terms.
ScotRail said it was disappointed a “very good offer” had been rejected while Transport Scotland said RMT leaders should have balloted its members.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said the decision to go ahead with industrial action was made after the train company “failed to get serious” in talks with the union.
The row over pay has affected Sunday services across Scotland in recent months and is now set to disrupt travellers during the climate summit in Glasgow between 1 and 12 November.
Thousands of delegates, media and other participants, including world leaders, are expected to attend.
Mr Lynch said: “There was a golden opportunity for ScotRail to make serious progress in talks today, but instead they offered nothing of any consequence and as a result our action throughout COP26 goes ahead as planned.
“There is still time to avoid the chaos of a transport shutdown during COP26 if the key players get back with some serious proposals.”
He said the union remained open to pay rise discussions with ScotRail, but “the ball is firmly in their court”.
The TSSA union – which represents managers in the conductor and revenue teams at Scotland’s train operator – said it was accepting an improved pay offer.
It amounts to a 2.5% pay increase backdated to April 1, 2021, and a 2.2% increase effective from April 1, 2022, with a one-off £300 payment for staff working during COP26.
Aslef has also accepted the pay offer and Unite is balloting members.