Ballot at National Trust for Scotland

Strike ballot at National Trust for Scotland

Members of Prospect trade union representing nearly 350 employees at the National Trust for Scotland are balloting on whether to take industrial action over management imposition of a pay settlement already rejected by 91% of members in a ballot in February.

The imposed offer means a further cut in real terms of around 2% in addition to the reductions in pay values of nearly a quarter since new grades were introduced in 2005.

The union’s claim for the introduction of the Scottish Living Wage of £7.45 per hour was met with an increase in pay for the lowest grade staff to £6.67. They are currently paid £6.42, with a vague promise of achieving the Scottish Living Wage by 2017.

At the same time independent scrutiny of NTS finances indicates that over the last four years it has added £44m to reserves and now has a non-heritage investment portfolio worth around £190m.

NTS membership fees are being increased by 3.1% more than the rate of inflation, while staff pay will be reduced still further on top of pay sacrifices already accepted when NTS was genuinely in a difficult financial position in 2008-09.

Alan Denney, Prospect National Secretary, said: “Members have made it clear that enough is enough. They accept that a price had to be paid to secure the Trust’s future and they are not seeking to recover these losses in pay. They want to see their pay keep up with prices. Significant numbers of staff are paid at minimum wage levels and they deserve better than another pay cut.”