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Hebrides News


Seafarers working for Scotland’s fisheries protection fleet are to ballot in an ongoing battle over pay.


Members of Unite the union are angry that they are being paid less than other seafarers working for the Scottish Government.


Parliamentary Questions by Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, discovered that seagoing staff at Marine Scotland are being paid thousands of pounds less than those in comparable posts for ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne.


Fisheries protection seafarers to ballot for fair pay

7 March 2017

A chief steward for Marine Scotland earns up to £7,000 less  annually compared to the same post with CalMac.


Both Marine Scotland and CalMac are wholly owned by Scottish Ministers.


In December the Scottish Parliament passed an amendment put forward by Scottish Labour, stating that Marine Scotland staff should receive a fair pay settlement that recognises their experience and skills.


Unite regional officer Alexander Smart said: “Not only are Marine Scotland denying fair pay to our members – they’re defying the will of Parliament to do it.


“Our members at Marine Scotland do a difficult job on behalf of all of us. They are often away from home for long periods of time, protecting Scotland’s seas and fisheries.


“They deserve fair pay. We have tried negotiation and with the help of Rhoda Grant we have been pushing for action from the Scottish Government and have raised the issue directly with the First Minister. Nothing has worked and we have no choice but to start a consultative ballot.”


Members are being asked if they would be prepared to support industrial action.


Rhoda Grant MSP said: “I am really sorry that it has come to this. I have spent time pressing Marine Scotland in person and in writing about fair pay for seafarers. The Scottish Parliament has backed fair pay for seafarers and we have had no movement at all on this issue.


“I sincerely hope that Marine Scotland and the Scottish Government will find a resolution to this before seafarers have to resort to industrial action.”