The Network Rail Chief Executive's New Year's message to staff was a warning about financial challenges facing the industry, rail reform and uncertain times ahead.
January 2021 is also the first time that Network Rail employees are no longer covered by a No Compulsory Redundancies Agreement. As many of us will remember, the 2019 Network Rail pay offer, agreed by RMT, guaranteed the No Compulsory Redundancies Agreement only until 31st December 2020. As RMT reported: from January 2021 'there would be no further extensions to the agreement as discussions will be held to agree a process to manage displaced employees'.
When the agreement was made, Off the Rails said it was a massive mistake for RMT to sell job security for a pay rise. Now we face an even more uncertain future than we anticipated, this mistake could have even worse consequences than we feared.
This is the time for all rail unions to pursue the reinstatement of a written guarantee of No Compulsory Redundancies on Network Rail. It would be better still, if our unions pursued a fight for no job cuts at all.