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Nationalised ScotRail train drivers offered improved 4.2% pay rise in bid to end train service cuts dispute

TRAIN drivers have been offered an improved 4.2% pay offer to try and end the crippling newly nationalised ScotRail pay dispute which has seen a third of services cut.

The ScotRail ‘offer’ to the train drivers union Aslef is short of the 10% ScotRail has said was being asked for to keep up with inflation.  It is a figure denied by Aslef.

The union says it will consult members on the pay offer and a “package of improved conditions” but has not made any recommendations of acceptance.

It comes after transport minister Jenny Gilruth earlier said she was “hopeful” of a “positive” resolution.

Aslef Scottish organiser Kevin Lindsay said: “Aslef entered these talks in good faith. We have negotiated a pay offer of 4.2%, a three-year no compulsory redundancy deal and a number of other improvements. These will now be put to our members for their consideration.”

The development came as the train drivers union Aslef and ScotRail got round the negotiating table to discuss the impasse over a 2% pay increase which has led to staff working to rule.

The state-controlled service cut 700 rail services from Monday due to a lack of drivers meaning that the last trains leaving Scotland’s main cities were leaving much earlier than usual curtailing nights out and hitting Scotland’s pubs, clubs and restaurants.

HeraldScotland:

The emergency timetable cuts came after over 1800 trains were cancelled at the last minute over 15 days and just over seven weeks after ScotRail was taken into public ownership by the Scottish Government in what ministers hailed a “historic” move.

ScotRail says the temporary but indefinite timetable has come as a result of the drivers’ pay dispute which has meant some refusing to take up the option of working rest days and Sundays, crucial to keep trains running in Scotland.

Asked in the Scottish Parliament about concerns over the possibility of more cuts Ms Gilruth said: “ScotRail’s temporary timetable has been implemented as a result of the ongoing impact of Aslef drivers choosing, as is their right, not to make themselves available for overtime or rest day working.

“The timetable is a temporary measure and is delivering around two thirds of the planned May services.

“The difficult decision to implement it was made to give people certainty about when they travel and ScotRail has therefore looked at how best to provide as much of that as it can during this challenging period for passengers.

“Clearly, we all want a return to a much fuller timetable. And that is why I’m pleased to see Aslef in ScotRail back around the negotiating table this week.”

But West Scotland Scottish Labour MSP Paul O’Kane responded saying that it was “another day and another inadequate answer” and asked that she and the First Minister ensure that “we end these negative cuts that are having such an impact on people across Scotland”.

Ms Gilruth went on to say she was “hopeful of a positive resolution” to the negotiations.

And she added: “Can I remind the member this is an industrial dispute. There are a number of other industrial disputes happening of course between rail unions and other administrations, for example, in London at the moment where Labour are in power in relation to challenges on the network.

“With regard to whether I would be in the room, of course it would not be appropriate as minister to be in the negotiating room. It is for ScotRail, the employer to be in the room with the trade unions to reach negotiation. Of course, ScotRail will continue to negotiate in good faith.

“I’m delighted that Aslef and ScotRail met only on Tuesday of this week and they will be meeting again later today to reach a settlement.

“And it’s important to remember that these timetable shortages are causing real challenges for passengers across the network.

“We want to reach a resolution in a timely fashion. I’m absolutely committed to working with our trade unions, who we have spent a lot of time with on my appointment back in January to make sure that public ownership is a success.”

 



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