Govia Thameslink Railway has offered a lump sum of £2,000 to each conductor, to settle the dispute. The money would be payable on completion of the introduction of a new role of On Board Supervisor next January.
The offer is in addition to an existing deal that has been on the table for two months. It includes guaranteed jobs until 2021, above-inflation pay rises, and guaranteed overtime for those who want it.
GTR gave the RMT a deadline of October 6 to accept the deal, or at least agree to put it to conductors in a ballot. That would mean suspending the series of 14 days of strikes.
GTR’s letter to the union stated: “These proposals are dependent upon agreement that services with a second member of on-board employees (rather than a traditional conductor) will have the driver in full control of train dispatch.” In other words, the drivers would operate the train doors and be responsible for safety.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash responded: “Jobs, safety and access on Southern Rail services are not for sale for £2,000. This dispute has never been about money. We will not be caving in to ultimatums that put a bounty on our members’ heads and which try to bribe us into selling out.”
- For much more on this story, read RAIL 811, published on October 12.