Strike looms over proposed pay freeze by Scottish Water
Trade union GMB members at Scottish water have rejected a proposed pay freeze for 2011/2012, arguing against 'excessive' management bonuses.
GMB announced that it will present this rejection to Scottish Water if no action is taken to consider dropping the proposal, and if directors continue to receive large bonuses.
GMB said it plans to take steps to hold a ballot of its members in preparation for industrial action against Scottish Water.
According to GMB, the decision by its members is a rejection of the Scottish government's policy that working people should pay "the price of the banking collapse".
It added that it is also a rejection of income inequalities and the bonus culture which "persists in Scottish Water".
GMB organiser for Scottish Water, Richard Leonard, said "GMB members at Scottish Water have had enough of big bonuses for directors alongside pay restraint for frontline staff. GMB members resent the fact that five directors will share a bonus pot of £90,000 each while they are being asked to accept a pay freeze.
"It is a clarion call for pay justice. The issue for the workforce is not merely one of amounts but of proportions. They do a vital and arduous job in safeguarding public health, managing a valuable, natural resource and looking after Scotland's environment.
"They deserve more than the 5% cut in their real standard of living which this proposed pay freeze represents."
In response to the claims, 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.
"Incentive payment schemes, driven by out-performance of our business targets operate for all employees."
In the May election the Scottish National Party announced a five year freeze on water charges, which GMB is concerned, will result in pay freeze for its members.
"Our concern is that the ground is being laid this year for a pay freeze for five years. Put simply we do not want a five year water charge freeze to mean a five year water workers pay freeze", added Mr Leonard.