Welcome to Union News. The podcast that gives news from a labour and trade union perspective. Music is by Tim Bragg.
RMT Rejects Latest Proposals from Network Rail
The RMT, a transport union, has rejected the latest proposals from Network Rail and several train operating companies in an attempt to end national rail strikes. The general secretary of the union, Mick Lynch, stated that the proposals fall short on pay, job security, and working conditions, after a consultation with the union’s 40,000 rail members. The union plans to seek further meetings with Network Rail and the Rail Delivery Group to demand an unconditional pay offer, job security agreement, and no changes to working conditions. The RMT will continue its industrial campaign until a satisfactory settlement is reached. RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said, “If we do not get improvements in the offers…we will put on further industrial action. We will be careful with the industrial action that we put forward.”
Meanwhile, the white-collar rail union TSSA has announced plans to give its members a vote on the RDG’s offer of a 5% wage increase and no compulsory redundancies.
Firefighter union leaders recommend members accept pay offer
Firefighter union leaders have recommended acceptance of a pay offer to prevent strikes. The revised offer includes a 7% pay increase retroactive to July 2022 and an additional 5% increase starting in July 2023. The union’s executive has advised its members to vote in favor of the offer in a ballot running from February 20th to March 6th. The FBU’s General Secretary, Matt Wrack, praised the collective bargaining and negotiation process, crediting it with the increase in pay from 2% in June 2022 to 7% plus 5% today.
University staff and ambulance workers stage fresh strikes
University and ambulance workers have continued their strikes in the UK due to a wave of industrial unrest over pay, staffing, and jobs. Tens of thousands of University and College Union (UCU) and Unison lecturers, support workers and other higher education staff are participating in intermittent walkouts across Britain. Meanwhile, 15,000 Unison ambulance workers in five trusts across England have also gone on strike, with the union threatening to escalate the action unless the government takes action. The union is currently balloting another 10,000 paramedic members for strikes, which could be its biggest yet. The government has rejected reopening talks on the below-inflation 4.75% wage deal for 2022-2023 and is waiting for the next pay round instead of trying to resolve the current dispute. Five education unions are due to meet with the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) on Monday, but the planned walkouts will still go ahead if the employer body does not improve upon the 5% average pay offer for 2023-2024.
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