SCOTRAIL has struck a deal with a trade union which could see the end of the pay dispute with its drivers.

Aslef, the drivers' union, agreed to accept a 5% pay rise for its members after negotiations with ScotRail bosses.

The union had previously threatened strike action after rejecting a 4.2% rise.

Aslef members have refused to work on rest days as a result of the dispute, forcing ScotRail to implement a temporary timetable cancelling more than 700 services.

READ MORE: UK Government plans attack on trade unions to stop railway strikes

The previous pay deal was rejected by Aslef's national executive committee, which said members would be balloted on industrial action should the operator refuse to come back to the table.

There is a possibility of a repeat situation, but Aslef has described the 5% pay agreement as a "breakthrough" and said it will recommend members vote to accept the offer.

Kevin Lindsay, Aslef's Scotland organiser, said: "We are pleased that significant progress has been made in our latest round of talks with ScotRail.

"The offer on pay has been increased to 5% and we have received improved offers on pay for rest day working, Sunday working allowances, driving instructor allowances, maternity pay and an extension of no compulsory redundancies to five years. There has also been an improved proposal around the non-consolidated revenue scheme."

In April, ScotRail was brought under national ownership. Transport minister Jenny Gilruth has faced accusations of mismanagement in the Holyrood chamber over the pay dispute.

On Wednesday, Tory MSP Liam Kerr claimed Gilruth was "abdicating her accountability" by refusing to get involved in the pay dispute.

But Gilruth was furious at the accusation, responding: "I am accountable. I am here today answering an urgent question, I was here yesterday answering topical questions, I was here the week before answering a question on rail and the week before that. He has absolute accountability.

"It would not be appropriate for me to be in the negotiating room. No ministers are ever in the negotiating room."

Gilruth's heated response caused a stir in the chamber which saw the deputy presiding officer have to ask for calm.

ScotRail has also warned that separate action planned by the RMT union could wipe out train services in Scotland on three days later this month.

The UK-wide action is expected to take place on June 21, 23, and 25 and cripple services.