Hydrographic Office Branch - Public content

Prospect Hydrographic Office

Campaign for Fair Pay - Latest News

In 2023

Following successful balloting of members, Prospect at UKHO is engaged in a series of strike action days alongside other Prospect branches in the Civil Service.

Our first action on Wednesday 15th March was hugely successful, gaining the notice of senior MOD and Civil Service figures. Our action was highly visible, positive and impeccably executed by our members.

We will be following up with further days of action, with the aim to bringing Government to the negotiating table. We aim to achieve a realistic but fair pay settlement for members that goes some way to ease cost of living pressures and also challenges faced by the business in recruitment and retention.

In 2022 

UKHO Branch has written to our Minister, Baroness Goldie to highlight the issue of fair pay for UKHO staff. We have stressed the criticality of the work UKHO does for the UK and the excellence of our staff and their skills. We have asked for the Baroness' backing in our campaign and have invited her to contact us to arrange a meeting with Branch representatives. This letter was co-signed by Nautilus (Trade Union) and PCS (Trade Union).

UKHO Branch has met with our local MP, Rebecca Pow, in whose constituency UKHO lies. Our delegation included Amy Luesley (Branch Chair), Ben Caile (Branch Secretary) and full-time Prospect officials Garry Graham (Prospect Deputy General Secretary) and Jane Lancastle (Negotiations Officer). We discussed the lack of pay progression, stagnation of pay in relation to cost of living and the risk this poses to the business.

This meeting was very positive and we have since received confirmation that Rebecca has written to Baroness Goldie on our behalf, in support of our campaign.

UKHO Branch has reached out to sister unions to ensure a united front in our campaign. Please see the excellent article released by Nautilus in support of our campaign.

Prospect at UKHO will continue working with sister unions and Prospect branches on the issue of pay, seeking opportunities for joint campaigning actions.

For further information, please contact Branch Secretary Ben Caile at [email protected]


Who We Are & What We Do

The UK Hydrographic Office engages in a variety of critical tasks for the UK. These include:

  • Supply of nautical charts and navigational products for UK waters, our dependencies, and areas of primary responsibility.
  • Supply of nautical charts and bespoke products to the Royal Navy.
  • Supply of marine geospatial data to the UK.
  • Innovation within our sector to support key customers and ensure our products and services fully service user needs.

Most significantly, our specialists and experts are working hard to ensure the Safety of Life at Sea and the discharge of the UK’s responsibilities as a signatory to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974. This is critical for an island nation such as the UK and one which is dependent on seaborne trade.


The Impact of Austerity

Workers at UKHO and across the Civil Service have been subject to pay austerity for a decade. This has caused pay stagnation and a real-terms reduction of pay when taking into account inflation. Workers are getting poorer and struggling to make ends meet. 26% of Prospect members at UKHO rely on a second income stream to pay the bills and 80% of members feel that their pay does not reflect their skills, experience and responsibilities.

Pay austerity is also perceived by members to be a risk to the UKHO itself. 87% of members feel that pay austerity has impacted the business as a whole and 78% feel that it has impacted work morale. Prospect anticipates increasing challenges in recruitment and retention and greater strain on the core activities at UKHO.