RMT members striking everywhere but Scotland because of Scotrail deal in 2021?

By iamsoccerdoc

RMT’s planned action is an interesting one. Check out the list of train companies in the above link (you’ll have to scroll right down to the bottom) in which action is proposed. I can see no mention of Scotland at all, other than via Network Rail. Of course, THIS could be the reason:

I dont know enough about railways to know how this will play out – for instance who employs signaling staff, but it’s interesting it is portrayed in the press as Scotland in a UK strike, or just an RMT strike in Scotland, when it looks as if it’s RMT members everywhere but Scotland.
As for the ASLEF guys, clearly workers on wages of 50k demanding 10% is not good PR, but from the pov of making a rail system work, wage conflict was something the SG inherited – see this from last year https://aslef.org.uk/news/scotrail-joint-unions-statement

But as John Jamieson points out in his letter to the National, if the drivers succeed, it is money going out from the fixed SG budget which will mean cuts in other areas outwith the railways such as Scottish Child Payment.

There is too, a certain amount of demonstrations of strength going on to show who is “in charge” – I think this gives us an insight: 


There can be little doubt that just as RMT acted just in time for COP26, this is an ambush, but one the SG should have been aware was going to happen (the dispute, I think was ongoing, predating April 1st). The Government are trying to argue it will only be temporary as they are training up drivers so that rest day working is not necessary. However, I wonder if that is the point – I can remember when industrial peace in the Engineering industry was defined as “two nights and a Sunday” – ie overtime is a financial expectation. If rest day working is done away with, the drivers (well paid drivers) are going to take a financial hit (though have more times to themselves). Besides training a driver takes at least one year (when they are trained and can be allowed out isnt clear) and that process has been seriously disrupted by Covid. If the SG is hoping to ride this one out till then there are a lot of bad headlines (and yes misleading crap) to come. Could they do better? Out with the dug yesterday on walks that take us near to the north bank electric service and many of the trains passing us were pretty empty. I wonder if by tweaking their new timetable (eg less cuts at known high demand and more at lower demand) they might at least obviate the Jamie McIver interview outside Queen Street (did he just bump into that guy).

Anyhow, I understand and share the frustration of the BBC lying to us (again) but it’s hardly new is it. Could this at least be addressed by better strategic thinking which should have started with the expectation that something like this was going to happen.


6 thoughts on “RMT members striking everywhere but Scotland because of Scotrail deal in 2021?

  1. Network rail is in charge of signalling including those in the signal boxes.

    As for rest day working it is not just the drivers who get payments for rest day working guards etc get it too. In 2018 they started a work to rule because they wanted their rest day payment to be increased to the same as that of a driver. This was triggered by Abellio announcing that they were taking on extra staff eg guards etc. This would have meant the rest day/overtime payments being decreased because of the extra staff. What followed was months of disruption until the matter was settled.

    Over the past few years those who work on the railways seem to have favoured work to rule rather than outright strike. Maximise disruption without taking a massive hit to pay.

    New trainee drivers do a years training then a years probation. This although may be slightly out of date
    “”ScotRail pay is £27,483 during the first year of intensive training. As a newly qualified driver the salary is £38,194, after 6 months £40,792 and after 9 months £43,810. On successful completion of all training and the probation period, the salary is £48,360 a year.””
    https://www.planitplus.net › View

    Their salary as trainee drivers is greater than that of a newly graduated nurse, £25k, or doctor, £25.5k or thereabouts.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. John thanks for publishing this. It was though something of a brain dump written under pressure of time. I’ve had a bit more time to think about it and rewritten it – taking it into a more general argument – in the attached. As always I will be guided by your wisdom. All the best

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I must have been hallucinating last night.
    I caught an article on the news where YOU are about the rail strike (in my defence, I have to switch the TV on the access my recorded stuff…) and I’m sure I heard her refer to the action as “…the UK – mostly in England…”

    “What can this mean?!” I thought.
    Thank goodness this blog is back online to reassure me that I’m not cracking up! 😀


  4. The article is incorrect and some basic research before writing would have been advisable. The RMT are balloting their members in Scotland in the coming days. I can’t imagine those workers will vote any differently from their counterparts in the rest of the IK


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