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Hebrides News


Questions by Rhoda Grant MSP discovered that they are being paid thousands of pounds less than those in comparable posts in Cal Mac ferry.

A chief steward for Marine Scotland can earn up to £8,000 less despite both company’s being wholly owned by Scottish Ministers.

In December, the Scottish Parliament as a result 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.

The first minister pledged to look into the matter but the Scottish government reversed a previous decision to pay a £5,000 pay supplement to take into account these comparable pay disparities and the difficulty of recruiting staff. However, this was subsequently cut to £3,000.

Sandy Smart, regional industrial officer at the Unite union, said: “Our members do a difficult and dangerous job ensuring that the fishing grounds around Scotland are protected.

“We are very disappointed that things have got to this stage despite the Scottish Parliament passing a motion to support a fair pay award.

“The First Minister also pledged to look at this issue yet our members have been rewarded with a pay cut.

“Industrial action is always a last resort and even at this late stage we hope that we can reach a solution but this requires movement by Marine Scotland and the Scottish government to properly award the seafarers.”

MSP Rhoda Grant said the seafarers have been given “shoddy treatment” by the Scottish Government.”

She added: “This could and should have been sorted out months ago. We are now at the 11th hour and the Scottish government must act now to settle this.”

Five sets of two-day strike action are planned.

Fishery cruiser seafarers set to strike over pay row

1 August 2017

Marine Scotland seafarers are set to take industrial action this month after negotiations with the Scottish government collapsed

Seafarers in the five fishery cruisers and research ships which protect the seas and fisheries around the country are angry over an imposed pay cut.