Hydrographic Office Branch - Public content

Prospect Hydrographic Office

How we negotiate pay

Prospect emphasise a democratic approach in pay negotiation. We are independent of any political party. We organise ourselves to enable local decision making by members on the matters that affect them.

This is important to you because HM Treasury annually issues guidance on civil service pay (the Civil Service Pay Remit). Within this framework, departments and executive agencies are able to set their own pay policy and Prospect negotiates with more than 300 employers within the Civil Service.

Many government departments and executive agencies are employers in their own right and many aspects of pay and conditions have diverged from a central Civil Service approach. This means that pay negotiations take place at a local level and members in each workplace get to vote on the pay offer made to them by their employer.

When pay negotiations with UKHO management are due, the branch uses a number of sources of information to develop a pay claim for submission to UKHO management. For example:

  • Prospect members' views on pay
  • Local Branch knowledge of staff demographics and existing terms and conditions
  • Civil Service Pay Remit
  • Office of National Statistics (ONS) inflation figures
  • Prospect pay bulletin

Similarly, management will be using data and affordability within the Pay Remit framework to form a pay offer. Pay negotiation meetings are convened for both parties (unions and management) to understand each other’s position (pay claim against pay offer). Discussion continues until:

  • The best achievable negotiated agreement on pay is reached that can be recommended to members to accept, or;
  • an agreement isn’t reached and management issue a final pay offer that will be recommended to members to reject

Either way, members are balloted on the outcome of pay talks. The decision reached in the ballot is put to management.

In the event that the members decide to reject a pay offer, it may be agreed to take industrial action. Industrial action is a last resort when disputes cannot be resolved through negotiation. Industrial action is a rare occurrence at UKHO where the trade unions have productive and mutually-beneficial working relationships with management. Industrial action only occurs through a ballot of members and although rarely-used, is a valuable workers’ right for those within the union. There are several forms of industrial action that can be taken, ranging from work-to-rule, removal of “good will” and, as a tool of last resort, a strike.

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact one of our reps.

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