Network Rail withdraws annual bonuses for striking employees

Network Rail gains living wage accreditationNetwork Rail has withdrawn annual bonuses for staff who went on strike in a long-running dispute about pay, jobs and working conditions.

Those who participated in strike action from June 2022 onwards will not receive a performance-related payment this year.

This decision is likely to affect up to 20,000 members of the RMT union, whose members took industrial action earlier this year. The dispute was settled back in March, when 76% of members of a 90% turnout voted in favour of a pay rise, backdated by three months to ensure workers got a bigger lump sum upfront.

The deal saw an uplift on salaries of between 14.4% for the lowest-paid grades to 9.2% for the highest-paid, and also included heavily discounted leisure travel.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Awarding performance-related pay is Network Rail’s way of recognising colleagues for their contribution to achieving the business’ performance targets. We have been crystal clear with both our trade unions and our employees that the cost of strike action would directly impact the performance-related pay scheme. Our position was made very clear, any discretionary payments would focus on those who continued to support rail services during industrial action.”

Some strikes are continuing, with RMT members working for train operating firms and train drivers at Aslef seeking better pay deals. Around 20,000 RMT members are expected to strike on Saturday 2 September, while Aslef members will strike on Friday 1 September and refuse to work overtime the following day.