A LAST-MINUTE deal has been struck to avoid rail strike action during a climate change conference in Glasgow. 

Union bosses have confirmed they have agreed a pay deal with ScotRail, putting an end to the possibility of transport chaos on the trains when thousands of delegates arrive in the city this week. 

It's understood a one-year 2.5% rise has been accepted by both RMT and rail chiefs.

In a statement late tonight, Ian McConnell, ScotRail chief operating officer, said: “We have reached a pay agreement with the RMT trade union that resolves strike action.

“We look forward to Scotland’s Railway playing its part in delivering a successful COP26 next week.”

Mick Lynch, RMT's general secretary, added: "Following further discussions between RMT and ScotRail an agreement has been reached and the proposals have been accepted by the union.

“As the disputes are resolved strike action has been cancelled and RMT members have been advised to work normally."

ScotRail and the Scottish Government had imposed a 5pm deadline on Wednesday evening to reach a resolution to the dispute over pay and working conditions.

The strikes were due to begin on Monday and last for the duration of the COP26 conference at the Scottish Exhibition Centre (SEC). World leaders - such as Joe Biden - and around 30,000 delegates are due to arrive in the city for two weeks of crunch talks.

A Transport Scotland spokesman confirmed a letter had been received from Mr Lynch before the deadline.

Glasgow Times: Mick LynchMick Lynch

Setting out RMT’s demands to avoid industrial action for the duration of the climate change summit which runs from October 31 until November 12,  Mr Lynch also asked for three hours booking-on allowance and a new pay and conditions review by April 1, 2022.

In his letter, Mr Lynch said: “I can advise you that subsequent negotiations have been held and that your union made a counter offer to ScotRail.

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“By accepting the offer all industrial action is now cancelled and I instruct you all to work normally on the days you had previously been instructed to take action on.”

Around 2000 RMT members, mainly ticket examiners and conductors but some drivers, planned to walk out leaving Scotland’s rail services crippled over the two weeks.

A strike would have hit thousands of services across Glasgow at a time when main arteries like the Clydeside Expressway are closed for COP 26.

Transport Minister Graeme Dey said tonight: “We are proud to have brokered and funded a deal which gives Scotland’s rail workers a decent pay rise and improved terms and conditions, in contrast to conditions for rail workers under the UK Government.

“We are also pleased that the RMT reached out to restart discussions based on the offer that had been made to them on Sunday. Now an agreement has been confirmed the strike action will thankfully now come to an end."