Date: Wed 26 November 2008
Scottish Water pay strike going ahead
More than a thousand members of UNISON Scotland who work for
Scottish Water will begin a 24 hour strike tomorrow (Thursday
27 November) in pursuit of their claim for a fair pay increase.
The action will be going ahead from 12 noon on Thursday (27 November)
through to 12 noon on Friday (28 November).
It will affect Scottish Water operations across the whole country.
UNISON Scotland is taking action jointly with Unite and GMB, the
other unions represented in Scottish Water. Dougie Black, UNISON's
main negotiator, said: "It is unfortunate that Scottish Water
has not take the chance to reconsider the issue prior to tomorrow's
action. "Clearly it is an issue which our members feel very strongly
"I would invite Scottish Water and the Scottish Government,
even at this late stage to come back to the negotiating table.
We are always ready to talk about a way to settle this dispute."
UNISON Scotland believes that Scottish Water - a highly successful
public corporation, which answers to the Scottish Government -
can afford to pay more than the rise of 3% over 15 months which
it has imposed on staff. The deal is effectively worth 2.4% this
year while inflation has been running at more than twice that
rate. The union has called on the Scottish Government, which is
blocking a fair pay deal, and Scottish Water to recognise the
contribution of staff, and reward its members with a fair and
proper pay award.
Dave Watson, Scottish Organiser, said: "In recent years our members
workers have helped to save Scottish Water over £1 billion through
reduced operating costs and improved efficiencies. Customers and
directors have benefited, while workers have faced real terms
pay cuts due to inflation.
"Scottish Water has the money to make a reasonable pay deal -
the problem is the Scottish Government is blocking them from doing
For Further Information Please Contact: Dougie Black (Regional
Organiser) - 07958 121 851 (m) Malcolm Burns (Information Development
Officer) - 0141 342 2811 Dave Wilkinson (UNISON Scottish Water
Branch Chair) - 07875 872 819 (m) Steve Scott (UNISON Scottish
Water Branch Secretary) - 07875 879 388 (m)
Notes for Editors UNISON is one of Scotlandís largest
trade unions representing over 160,000 members, and is the biggest
union in the Scottish Water industry. Our 1,100 members in Scottish
Water work in offices and depots throughout Scotland. They are
represented in all the functions of the authority, including water
and sewage treatment, water and sewer networks, laboratories,
call centres and the design and construction of capital works.
In September 2008 Scottish Water breached six years of partnership
working with its staff in order to impose a 15 month pay rise
of 3% (which equates to an annual offer of 2.4%). In November
2008 UNISONís Scottish Water Branch members voted by 2-1 in a
ballot to take strike action for fair pay.
Further information on the Scottish Water strike is available
on our website at: http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/water/waterpay.html
This includes the UNISON Scotland briefing to MSPs: http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/briefings/MSPBriefingScottishWaterPayStrikeNov08.pdf
in support of the motion S3M-02939 Scottish Water Dispute lodged
by Bill Butler MSP in the Scottish Parliament: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/Apps2/business/