RMT Union has announced that its members have “overwhelmingly” voted to accept a new offer covering pay, jobs, and conditions.
In a statement revealing the outcome of the vote to accept the “improved offer” released today, the rail union said that 20,000 of its members voted by 76% to 24% in favour – which is said to mean the end of the trade dispute with Network Rail.
It comes after a series of strikes were staged over several months.
The offer voted in favour of includes an uplift on salaries of between 14.4% for the lowest paid grades to 9.2% or the highest paid, and a total uplift on basic earnings between 15.2% for the lowest paid grades to 10.3% for the highest paid grades – which represents an additional 1.1% over the duration of the deal, according to RMT.
Other “key factors” of the offer, according to RMT, includes discounted rail travel benefits for members.
The offer also includes increased backpay, and a renewing of the ‘no compulsory redundancy agreement’ until January 2025.
On top of this, RMT claims Network Rail will withdraw its previous insistence the offer was conditional on RMT accepting the company ‘modernising maintenance’ agenda – which the union will continue to “scrutinise and challenge”.
Reflecting on the outcome of the vote today, RMT General Secretary Mick Lynch said that when the Union first declared the dispute with Network Rail nearly a year ago, RMT was told that Network Rail workers would only get 2-3%.
“However, since then strike action and the inspiring solidarity and determination of members has secured new money,” he added.
“A new offer which has been clearly accepted by our members and that dispute is now over.”
Mr Lynch did, however, confirm that rail passengers will still face disruption from strike action scheduled for 30 March and 1 April, as they are still yet to strike a deal with the 14 train operating companies represented by the Rail Delivery Group.
“Our dispute with the train operating companies remains firmly on and our members recent highly effective strike action across the fourteen train companies has shown their determination to secure a better deal,” he explained.
“If the government now allows the train companies to make the right offer, we can then put that to our members but until then the strike action scheduled will take place.
Officers have been carrying out searches of people arriving on site this week – and have already arrested a 24-year-old man.
A quantity of pills and a knife were both recovered from the man, who has been arrested on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs and possession of a bladed article.
After the arrest, Superintendent Phil Spurgeon issued a statement to criminals, saying ‘don’t bother coming to Parklife’.
He said: “We have a really robust police and partnership community safety operation for the festival, and the arrest and seizure yesterday demonstrates the vigilance of security staff, our thorough search procedures and our commitment to keeping people safe.
“Make no mistake, illegal items such as weapons and drugs can have fatal consequences. Our top priority this weekend is keeping people safe, and anyone caught trying to take such items into the festival will be robustly dealt with.
“I hope the genuine festival-goers are excited for the fantastic weekend ahead and I am confident the majority will enjoy the event responsibly and safely.”
Greater Manchester Police and Parklife security staff will be working closely together to intercept anyone travelling to the festival with criminal intentions.
The arrest on 8 June was thanks to the festival’s drug detection dogs.
In a formal statement addressing the situation, the city‘s flagship further education institution says some of its systems have been accessed by an “unauthorised party” and that data has “likely been copied” as a result of this.
The University’s in-house experts are said to be “working around the clock” to resolve the issue.
External support teams are also said to be working in collaboration with the University to understand what data has been accessed.
Patrick Hackett – Registrar, Secretary, and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Manchester – explained in a statement issued this morning: “Regrettably, I have to share with you the news that the University is the victim of a cyber incident, [as] it has been confirmed that some of our systems have been accessed by an unauthorised party and data have likely been copied.
“Our in-house experts and established expert external support are working around the clock to resolve this incident, and we are working to understand what data has been accessed”.
Mr Hackett said he understands the nature of the issue will “cause concern to members of our community”, and says the University is “very sorry for this”.
The University says it is also working with relevant authorities – including the Information Commissioner’s Office, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the National Crime Agency, and other regulatory bodies – to resolve the issue, and will provide information to those affected as soon as they are able to.
Students and staff are also be told to be vigilant to any suspicious phishing emails within the coming days – with the University’s IT Services team having published some relevant advice to refer to.