Rail strikes are a step closer to being cancelled after the RMT said it will ask its members whether they want to accept a new pay deal.
The RMT said it was not making a recommendation on how to vote on the offer, which is not conditional on accepting Network Rail’s modernising maintenance agenda, which the RMT does not endorse.
It also involves a salary increase of 14.4pc for the lowest paid and 9.2pc for the highest paid staff. There is an additional 1.1pc on basic earnings and increased backpay.
RMT members in Network Rail will now decide whether to accept the offer in a referendum starting on March 9 and concluding on March 20 at midday.
Network Rail’s strike on March 16 will not go ahead while union members vote on the ballot.
However, passengers still face disruption on that day and on March 18, 30 and April 1 as RMT members with 14 train operating companies go ahead with planned walkouts in their separate dispute over pay.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “Network Rail have made a new and improved offer and now our members will decide whether to accept it.
“We will continue our campaign for a negotiated settlement on all aspects of the railway dispute.”