Scottish Water negotiating with trade unions as strike ballot launches next week

Unison previously warned that structural pay changes and a ‘below-inflation’ pay rise.

Scottish Water has said it is negotiating with trade unions as an upcoming ballot on strike action is set to be issued.

Unison says the ballot will launch in response to Scottish Water’s decision to issue a new pay structure, and claims the company is offering a below-inflation pay rise.

The union said it is “unacceptable” for a pay offer to be made and a new pay structure implemented without negotiation, warning the pay rise will amount to a real-terms pay cut.

The ballot, set to launch on Thursday, could result in strike action in the autumn if workers vote in its favour.

Patricia McArthur, Unison Scottish Water branch secretary, previously said: “This could have so easily have been avoided.

“As Scottish Water is still a public sector employer, unlike other water providers in the UK, it shouldn’t be resorting to such heavy-handed management practices.

“Scottish Water must get around the table for proper talks. Any new pay structure must be fair and have the full confidence of staff. Otherwise it won’t stand the test of time and the public will be short-changed.”

Scottish Water has assured it is engaging with the union on the pay rise and structural changes.

A spokesperson said: “We are continuing to negotiate and engage openly with trade unions on bringing forward a proposed modernised reward system which is fair and transparent.

“Employee surveys have clearly indicated that modernising pay and progression is much needed, with current arrangements having been in place for almost two decades.

“Having a clear and consistent way of describing jobs and how we value them will assist significantly as we continue to deliver service excellence for our customers across Scotland.”

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