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National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (Meeting)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 14th January 2016.

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Photo of Neil Bibby Neil Bibby Labour

5. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the outcome of its recent meeting with the RMT union. (S4O-05258)

Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

I met RMT on Thursday 7 January and again this morning as part of a Scottish Trades Union Congress delegation, and I look forward to continued dialogue.

Photo of Neil Bibby Neil Bibby Labour

The minister is aware that RMT members who work on the Caledonian sleeper service are in dispute with the new operator, Serco, and that the RMT has identified more than 200 faults with the rolling stock that Serco is operating. The RMT has also repeatedly expressed concern about the inclusion of an indemnity clause in franchising agreements, which it believes undermines industrial relations. Following his comments last night in the members’ business debate on this important issue, will the minister say what action the Scottish Government can take to address those concerns before the arrival of new rolling stock in 2018?

Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

We are all looking forward to the new rolling stock. There is a programme of maintenance and improvement, which has been subject to some interrogation, and I am satisfied with that. On compensation and indemnification, there has been no approach to the Scottish Government for such a payment. However, I am sure that all members will welcome the progress that RMT and Serco have made through the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service on the current concerns and issues for dialogue.