Belfast Telegraph

Strike warning as Network Rail engineers vote on action in pay row

Network Rail engineers are to be balloted for strikes in a row over pay.

The Transport Salaried Staffs Association said around 250 of its members will vote in the next few weeks, warning that backing for industrial action could cause disruption at the end of August.

Manuel Cortes, the union's general secretary, said: "Our members do a very important job, often attending incidents in the middle of the night, but they do not receive the proper reward for their professionalism.

"Their importance to keeping the network running 24/7 is huge and we want some recognition for that from management.

"We hope that last-ditch talks this week may still resolve the issue, but, if they don't, a dispute looks inevitable with all the disruption that will follow."

The dispute is over out-of-hours stand-by payments.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "It is hugely disappointing that the union have rejected our offer. We encourage them to continue discussions so we can reach a solution which is fair to our staff as well as those who help fund Britain's railway.

"We have worked closely with the TSSA in recent months to come to an agreement which provides clarity on our on-call arrangements and is affordable to Network Rail as a publicly-funded company. These discussions have been productive and have enabled us to put forward proposals which address all the material issues raised by the TSSA within the funding available to us. We had hoped they would have accepted our fair offer."