A deal has been struck between Scottish Water and its workers who recently went on strike over a pay dispute.
The joint industrial action which was led by three separate unions – Unite, Unison and GMB – took place last month, with a second 48-hour strike planned the third weekend of November called off after bosses announced they were planning a proposal.
Now, after carrying out a ballot over the deal, members from all three unions have voted unanimously to accept. As a result, workers will now receive a pay rise of eight percent, which will also be backdated for any overtime, call out and standby rates that have been worked since April.
The working week will also be cut to 35 hours without loss of pay from November next year.
As reported by the Insider, after the agreement was reached, all three unions commented on the victory, with two taking the opportunity to criticise the conduct of the utilities supplier.
Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Let’s be clear, this deal only came about through the determination of our members to fight for a better deal through strike action.”
With an eye on the next round of talks, Unison Scotland regional organiser for Scottish Water Emma Phillips said: “The ballot settles this year’s pay claim, now we go into negotiations around a new pay and grading structure. Unison is determined this will deliver fairness and transparency.”
And lastly, Claire Greer, GMB’s organiser at Scottish Water, said: “This was a dispute that could have easily been avoided by a management which understood the importance of good industrial relations and the need to negotiate with unions in good faith.”
Scottish Water Comments
Along with the unions, Scottish Water also commented on the landmark deal, with the company saying it’s pleased to offer back pay and is ready to get a new structure in place by the end of the first quarter of next year.
Peter Farrer, Scottish Water chief operating officer, said: “We are delighted we can make a back-dated in-year award of 8%, payable in December, following a ballot of joint trade union members which resulted in agreement from the workforce.
“This has only been made possible by retaining the connection of the pay award to modernising our reward foundations which gives us the ability to go beyond the level of award permissible under the Public Sector Pay Strategy.
“We are fully committed to working with our unions to ensure a reviewed pay and grading structure is in place by March 2024.”
The union bosses and management at the utilities company will soon go back into negotiations to haggle over next year’s pay deal.
Although it’s encouraging to see these workers being given the pay deal they deserve, this news merely highlights the fact that there may be a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes that could affect the service you receive as a customer.
Pay disputes could even start to impact customers’ bills so, with this in mind, if Scottish Water supplies your utilities then you may be keen to check whether there are other deals out there that may be cheaper or offering a service that better suits your needs.
The service you receive from your supplier, as well as the amount you pay for your bills each month or quarter, is clearly important to any business owner. So knowing you’re with someone who’s reliable and won;t ramp up your costs moving forward is crucial.
This is why it sometimes makes sense to switch business utilities and if you’re on the hunt for a water supplier that meets your needs and preferences, we’re here to help. As a water broker, we can sift through hundreds of different tariffs with dozens of water suppliers across the country to find a selection of deals.
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So to find out how much you could save on your bills, speak to us today and we’ll help put you in touch with some of the country’s most trustworthy suppliers.