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RMT ballots on new Network Rail offer [updated]

14 March 2023

National Rail is responsible for maintaining railway track across the country. Engineers working near near York. Photo M Barratt/Shutterstock.

Rail union RMT is conducting a referendum ballot of its Network Rail members after an improved offer from the employer. The ballot closes on 20 March.

National Rail is seeking to end a dispute over pay and conditions that has seen industrial action by RMT members for over 6 months. Planned industrial action was suspended on receipt of the offer.


The new offer increases the value of the pay increase by around 1.1 per cent, achieved by bringing forward the January 2023 element to October 2022.

If accepted, the offer would increase the salaries of the majority of RMT members in Network Rail by between 9.2 and 14.4 per cent. It would also include a commitment to making no compulsory redundancies before January 2025.

The deal would also restore a cheap leisure travel concession to a group of staff that lost it following privatisation of the railways in 1996.

‘The offer is not conditional on accepting Network Rail’s maintenance cuts plan.’

The offer is also made without being conditional on RMT accepting Network Rail’s “Modernising Maintenance” cuts plan – which it consistently opposes as “a catastrophe waiting to happen”.

Network Rail, a government-owned company, has been responsible for the rail infrastructure since 2002. It took over from Railtrack, a privatised company that failed after the Hatfield rail crash in 2000 and a number of other high profile incidents.

RMT announced on 20 March that members working in National Rail voted overwhelmingly to accept the improved pay offer – by 3 to 1 on a turnout of nearly 90 per cent.