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Network Rail has invited the RMT to attend formal talks next month to discuss the introduction of ‘modern working practices’.

A letter was delivered to Mick Lynch, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, following the talks on Monday evening.

The letter, written by NR’s Paul Rutter, says: “We have always made it clear to you that we need to make material progress in these discussions and that we need to implement meaningful changes in working practices by April 2023.

“I remain hopeful that we can agree on a way forward. However, we cannot delay any longer and in that spirit, we intend to consult with you formally on the implementation of the changes to a number of working practices which we believe may be changed within the existing agreements and TOS (terms and conditions) under which our maintenance and work delivery personnel are employed.

“We will also continue to consult on the implementation of certain technologies to make the railway a safer and more efficient place to work.

“While we don’t believe we need the agreement of our unions to make these changes, we would much prefer to implement them with your agreement and cooperation.”

Tim Shoveller, Head of NR, said: “Last night Network Rail sent a letter to the RMT asking them to attend the start of formal consultation talks on 1 July on the introduction of modern working practices into our organization of maintenance.

“The changes will mean abandoning outdated working practices and introducing new technologies, both of which will lead to a more efficient and safer maintenance organisation.

“We expect this to reduce positions by around 1,800, the vast majority of which will be lost through voluntary departures and natural wastage.

“With retraining and redeployment also available to us, we anticipate there will be a job for anyone who wants one.

“These changes are essential to put our railway on a solid financial footing for the future and will help us save £100m, while potentially giving us the flexibility to resolve this industrial dispute.”

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This notice was published: 2022-06-21 21:34:00

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