T

he RMT union has issued its final demand to avoid a strike by ScotRail train staff during Cop26, ahead of the Scottish government deadline.

The union presented its final bargaining position, calling for a 2.5% wage increase retroactive to April and a “Cop26 payment” for all staff.

World leaders and thousands of delegates are expected to arrive in Glasgow for the UN climate summit, but the 13-day event has been threatened with disruption from rail strikes.

The Scottish government and ScotRail imposed a 5pm deadline on Wednesday for a resolution of the dispute over wages and terms.

A spokesperson for Transport Scotland said the letter from RMT General Secretary Mike Lynch was received before the deadline but no decision had been taken.

We are making this offer in good faith with the sole intention of breaking the current deadlock and allowing us to move forward.

Outlining demands to avoid a strike by RMT members during the climate summit, Mr Lynch also called for a three-hour reservation allowance and a further review of wages and terms by April 1, 2022. .

Mr Lynch said: “We are making this offer in good faith with the sole aim of breaking the current deadlock and allowing us to move forward as time is running out to Cop26.

“We are awaiting a positive response from the company.”

Other unions accepted the deal on the table, but Scottish Transport Minister Graeme Dey had warned he was “not optimistic” that a resolution would be found with the RMT before the deadline set at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Mr Dey is already facing calls to resign if an agreement cannot be found to prevent the strike during Cop26, which is expected to bring around 30,000 people to Glasgow.

Cop26 is hosted at the Scottish Events Campus in Glasgow (Jane Barlow / PA) / PA wire

Speaking in Holyrood on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Dey accused the RMT of modifying its counter-proposals and said: “On several occasions over the past few weeks we have been directly and publicly led to believe that there was a possible resolution of this dispute.

“This government and ScotRail have reached out on all occasions, only to find the goal posts out of place.

“It has been very difficult to build confidence in this process.”

In response, Mr Lynch said, “This inflammatory language is not helping anyone.

“We are not going to indulge in digging deeper trenches when there is ample time to resolve these differences if we resume talks.

“We are ready and waiting to get back to the table and Mr. Dey should focus his efforts on making that happen.”

Graeme Dey said he was “not optimistic” that a resolution would be reached (Fraser Bremner / Scottish Daily Mail / PA) / PA wire

David Simpson, director of operations for ScotRail, said the 5 p.m. deadline has been set to give ScotRail time to plan services during the summit, which begins Sunday and runs through November 12.

After 5pm on Wednesday, he said the offer would be ‘off the table’, explaining, “The reason for the deadline is that we need to be able to prepare for the service we’re running next week.

“We are working in the background on contingency planning to see what we can do in the event of a strike to link Glasgow and Edinburgh and serve the roads through the top of Cop26.

“We have made it clear that this is an important deal, but at 5pm tonight it is no longer on the table and we will unfortunately have to prepare for industrial action.”

This would see ScotRail focus its efforts on managing services between Scotland’s two largest cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh, as well as low-level service to the Scottish Event Campus where the summit takes place.

Mr Simpson said: “We absolutely urge RMT to accept this deal, it is a good deal, at least offer it to their members and suspend strike action while they do it, or it will come off the table. at 5 o’clock tonight. “


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