New offer set to settle airport pay dispute

New offer set to settle airport pay dispute

Industrial action at Scottish airports looked set to be called off as union negotiators hailed an improved pay offer for security staff.

Prospect and GMB have welcomed the offer from Highlands and Islands Airports, which is worth around 8% for 160 staff at Inverness, Dundee and eight other airports and makes significant changes to their terms and conditions.

The offer, which will now be recommended to members in a ballot, raises their pay from below the living wage target for Scotland of £7.15 an hour to a minimum £7.50 an hour.

Prospect national officer, Alan Denney, said: “This is good news for our members, who for years have been the poor relations of airport staff.

“Management have at last recognised the deep sense of grievance they feel. I believe this offer will help to turn a new page in industrial relations at HIAL’s airports and should remove any threat of interruption to passenger services.”

Security staff at all 10 HIAL airports had just completed a ballot on industrial action in which they voted unanimously to take action from 6 July. This would have had a major impact on the Scottish Open, which starts on 7 July at a venue next to Inverness airport.

The revised offer will now be put to members for acceptance as the best that can be achieved by negotiations. It includes:

• raising the July 2010 offer from 1% to 2%

• a further increase of up to 9% from July 2011 (minimum 3.5%)

• the introduction of enhanced pay for weekend working and new sick payarrangements.

Although the package is a major advance on the initial 1% offer, Denney said it still failed to address a number of issues, including the case for pay equality across all HIAL’s airports, for security staff to be paid overtime rates on weekdays, and for them to receive shift pay and some form of pension provision.

“But given the current economic climate this is a step in the right direction on which we shall work hard to build for the future.”