Network Rail managers accept 4% pay deal

Network Rail gains living wage accreditation

Manager grade employees working for transportation business Network Rail have accepted a 4% pay rise, while negotiations continue for controller and general grade staff.

The Band 1 to Band 4 employees, represented by the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), voted to accept the pay deal, which the union said addressed a number of key issues, including providing enhanced job security and a commitment not to unilaterally change contracts of employment.

Manager-grade employees voted 71% in favour of the pay offer, with a turnout of more than 60%.

The deal included a 4% base pay increase backdated to 1 July 2022 and effective until 30 June 2023, with non-consolidated payments for those within 4% of the top of their pay brackets. Staff have also been given increased allowances, a 75% discount on all leisure travel, including for family members, and the ability to ‘sell’ up to 10 days of accrued annual leave. The previous cap of £2,750 on season tickets has also been removed.

However, the dispute has not been resolved for staff classified as Band 5 to Band 8 within the Network Rail structure. The TSSA has served notice of intent to strike in those grades on 18 and 20 August, as it reported that these members of staff have not received an offer that sufficiently addresses the current threat to their jobs.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It’s fantastic news that TSSA’s management grade members have recognised the fairness of Network Rail’s pay offer and voted to accept it.

“When unions work collaboratively and productively with industry like this, they can come to agreements which benefit both staff and passengers alike and deliver the essential modernisations our railways need.

“This acceptance by these TSSA members will mean that we have a strong, reliable contingency staff for any future strikes and will be able to run services for passengers and minimise disruption to lives of everyday people.

“Unions working with industry instead of against is the only way forward out of this dispute and a necessary step to end these destructive strikes and to put our railways on a secure footing for the future.”

However, the TSSA remarked that Schapps’ statement was an attempt to turn unions against each other.

Luke Chester, organising director at the TSSA, said: “While falling short of our aspirations on basic pay, this agreement has the significant benefit of addressing many of our members’ long-standing concerns, including staff travel facilities.

“It’s very good news that our union was able to stand up collectively and win concessions across the board from the [organisation] which will really benefit our members.

“However, it’s a shame that managers had to vote for industrial action before we could make progress. We remain committed to further dialogue with the Network Rail to build on these gains and deliver a fair deal for our members going forward.

“Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has some nerve making comments about working ‘collaboratively and productively’; it’s his department crippling negotiations across the rail industry by preventing [organisations] offering pay rises that reflect the rate of inflation.

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“He’s made these comments today, in a pathetic attempt to turn trade unions against each other, purely to try and save his failing political career. TSSA has never backed down from a fight when it’s needed. We have a strong mandate for strikes in Network Rail General Grades and Controllers and we will stand shoulder to shoulder on the picket line with colleagues from Train Operating Companies and other unions, if that’s what it takes to win the best deal for our members!”

Tim Shoveller, lead negotiator at Network Rail, said: “We are pleased that the TSSA’s management grade colleagues have voted to accept the pay deal we offered, which includes a 4% increase on base pay from 1 July and heavily discounted leisure travel for employees and their immediate families. We believe this is a deal that is both fair for our employees and affordable for passengers and taxpayers.”