ScotRail pay row: Talks with drivers' union to resume as more than 700 services cut

Talks between a train drivers' union and ScotRail are due to resume on Monday in a dispute over pay which has seen more than 700 rail services cut.

By Lucinda Cameron
Monday, 6th June 2022, 9:39 am
Updated Monday, 6th June 2022, 9:40 am

Aslef last week rejected a 4.2% pay deal and warned that if an agreement cannot be reached, the union could ballot for industrial action.

The newly nationalised ScotRail introduced a temporary timetable in late May, cutting a third of services, due to the impact of drivers declining to work overtime or rest days as part of the dispute.

Kevin Lindsay, the union's Scottish organiser, has said that he believes a deal is "close" and that the ball is in ScotRail's court.

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Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme last week, he said: "Aslef members have told us clearly this offer doesn't meet their aspirations, the National Executive said it doesn't meet the aspirations.

"So, we will sit down and negotiate and try and get a deal which is acceptable, and I look forward to meeting with ScotRail on Monday.

"If we get an improved offer, and acceptable offer, there will be no strike action. It's as simple as that.

"The ball is clearly in ScotRail's court now, they can come up with an improved offer using the money that is already there in this package.

ScotRail passengers have had to cope with cancelled services.

"Let's get a deal sorted, let's get the railway running, that is what we want."

ScotRail said it was "incredibly disappointed and frustrated" that Aslef bosses had rejected the improved pay offer.

At the weekend, it introduced a temporary timetable for Sundays, which followed the introduction of temporary timetables for the other days of the week.

The company said the temporary timetable would provide "greater certainty and reliability" for customers.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: "We are disappointed that Aslef, having given due consideration to the terms they negotiated, have decided to reject the very good offer on the table, an offer which is in part self-funded through increased revenue and efficiencies.

"While we understand any union's desire to obtain the best deal possible for their members, the stark realities of the financial pressures we are facing across Government are evidenced by the Spending Review.

"We all need to work together to make nationalisation a success. Ministers are committed to ensuring that the railway unions are part of that success.

"However, to be part of the vision moving forward, the unions need to agree on a deal that is both fair and affordable, particularly in the context of wider public sector pay policy."