Network Rail maintenance earn around a fifth more than similar roles in the rest of the industry,
Data published today by rail watchdog the Office for Rail and Road (ORR) showed that the average total reward – which include pension costs and other measurable benefits – was 18 per cent above the average.
The analysis also found that station staff earn 12 per cent more while non-maintenance workers are paid “largely within market rates.”
Operational management, on the other hand, are paid 11 per cent less compared to colleagues in similar positions.
“Our staff play a vital role delivering services for millions of passengers and, as the ORR’s report found, we provide a competitive package in line with market rates to reward and attract the best talent,” said Network Rail’s boss Andrew Haines.
“As a public sector body, we balance this with the need to spend public money sensibly.”
The research comes as 40,000 members of the union RMT working at Network Rail and 15 other train operators are set to walk out on Saturday in a long-standing dispute over pay, jobs and working conditions.
According to Network Rail, only 20 per cent of train services will run on the day of the strike, impacting millions of Brits.
Saturday is the second strike to hit the UK’s rail network after thousands of train drivers at 12 companies went on a 24-hour strike yesterday.
RMT’s director general Mick Lynch accused the report of threatening “the pay and conditions” of workers while failing to acknowledge “the extortionate pay of Network Rail executives who took home around a million pounds in the last two years.”
“In stark contrast, Network Rail staff have endured a 3 year pay freeze and have seen a sharp decline in living standards,” he said.
“And if [this] means RMT members’ wages are higher than the market rate, there is something wrong with the market.”
Just yesterday Lynch warned of further rail strikes potentially taking place, if a settlement between rail workers and train operators is not reached.