Friday, December 8, 2023

Strike motion goes forward at Scottish Water as Unite says talks ‘waste of time’


500 key frontline staff to participate in first spherical of 4 days of motion

Commerce union group Unite confirmed on 9 November that its 500-strong Scottish Water membership will take its first spherical of strike motion after talks with the general public physique resulted in failure.

Unite, together with the opposite recognised commerce unions held its newest spherical of talks with Scottish Water bosses on Wednesday 8 November following the announcement of 48 days of commercial motion over three months.

A number of rounds of talks by the auspices of the conciliation service Acas have been held however there was no breakthrough forward of the primary spherical of commercial motion which begins at 00.01 hours on Friday 10 November and ends at 23.59 hours on Monday 13 November. The motion consists of an time beyond regulation and stand-by ban.

A lot of main pickets and demonstrations throughout Scotland will likely be held in cities and cities to coincide with the strike motion.

Unite has described the newest talks as a ‘waste of time’ because the commerce union accused Scottish Water bosses of proposing a revised supply with ‘extra strings connected than a symphony orchestra’.

The commerce union’s membership consists of waste water operatives, water therapy and burst restore operatives, upkeep engineers, electricians and sewage tanker drivers.

The dispute centres on Unite accusing Scottish Water bosses of bypassing long-standing collective bargaining processes involving unions. This particularly pertains to a brand new ‘reward system’ which Scottish Water bosses are attempting to impose on the workforce. The proposed system is being tied to the 2023 pay supply.

Unite common secretary Sharon Graham, stated: “Scottish Water has failed to deal with the issues of our members. As an alternative, Scottish Water has continued to press forward with its proposed new grading construction which they’re foolishly linking to the pay supply.

“Talks have been a waste of time. It seems to be the case that the bosses within the boardroom will solely take heed to us when our members have taken to the picket strains throughout Scotland. Unite will absolutely assist our members within the struggle for higher jobs, pay and circumstances at Scottish Water.”

Because of the key frontline roles undertaken by Unite’s membership in sewers, water therapy centres and on pipework, the union believes the commercial motion will considerably impair Scottish Water’s potential to reply to water leakages, flooding, air pollution, and ingesting water high quality issues.

In sensible phrases, this implies burst pipe repairs on roads and highways wouldn’t be repaired by Unite members. Employees would additionally not be accessible to undertake work referring to any sewer flooding points. Wastewater pumping stations which trigger spillages to rivers and watercourses will even be impacted by the strikes.

Stephen Deans, Unite regional coordinating officer, added: “Scottish Water is trying to rehash their authentic supply with one which has extra strings connected than a symphony orchestra.”

“Unite members have been left with no choice however to take strike motion. Until there may be swift motion by Scottish Water bosses then one other 11 weeks of motion will comply with.

“We’ve got repeatedly warned that when strike motion goes forward it might have main public security and well being implications. Scottish Water bosses, nonetheless, don’t appear to care about these issues, their staff or the Scottish public which they’re paid extraordinarily properly to serve.”

This weekend’s strike motion comes at a juncture when Alex Plant, the brand new chief govt of Scottish Water, has come beneath fireplace for incomes a reported annual wage of £295,000 in breach of the Scottish authorities’s public sector pay guidelines.

Mr Plant’s wage is £25,000 larger than his direct predecessor regardless of the pay coverage anticipating a ten per cent discount within the remuneration package deal over an outgoing appointment.


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