Scotland

GMB members at Scottish Water reject pay freeze

Water pouring from tap
Image caption Scottish Water worker may be balloted for industrial action after rejecting the pay freeze

Workers at Scottish Water have rejected a proposed pay freeze for 2011-12.

Members of the GMB union are now considering their next steps which may include a vote for industrial action.

Richard Leonard, GMB organiser at Scottish Water, said there were fears the ground was being laid for a wage freeze which could last for five years.

He said workers have had enough of big bonuses for directors while frontline staff were being asked for pay restraint.

He added: "GMB members resent the fact that four directors will share a bonus pot of £90,000 each while they are being asked to accept a pay freeze.

"We will convey this rejection to Scottish Water and if there is no movement, GMB will consider the next steps which could include a ballot of these members for industrial action."

He accused the Scottish government of having a policy that meant working people, providing public services, were paying the price of the banking collapse.

He said: "At the election in May the SNP announced a five-year freeze not only in the council tax but on water charges too.

"Our concern is that the ground is being laid this year for a pay freeze for five years."

A Scottish Water spokesperson said: "Working within public sector pay policy we are continuing to talk to all staff representatives about current limitations on a pay award this year."

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