Prospect is the biggest union in Highways England, which is responsible for running the motorway and major road network in England, and represents staff in roles including Traffic Officers, Structural Engineers and Control Room Operators.
The imposed 1% pay award is one of the lowest anywhere in the public sector and follows on from a series of below inflation pay awards in recent years. While most staff have had to put up with pay restraint, the Highways England Chief Executive’s remuneration package has ballooned to over £450,000 including an increase of 13% last year. There has also been a big increase in number of senior staff who are now earning over £100,000.
Prospect Negotiations Officer Nick Radiven said “ Our members are rightly angry that while they are expected to put up a with a real terms pay cut, senior staff including the Chief Executive have seen their pay rocket in recent years. Highways England should be giving all their employees a decent pay increase as they are the ones day in day out keeping the motorway network running”
Highways England staff will have to play a key part in trying to keep the roads running around ports and the South East in the event of a no deal Brexit and this would be affected in the event of any industrial action taking place.
Nick Radiven went on to say “ We very much hope to avoid the need to take any industrial action, but Highways England have to come back with a better pay offer. They have told us they do have more money available for pay this year but are currently refusing to use this to give all staff a proper pay increase”.
The ballot will close on 7th November.