Contact newsdesk on:

Classified adverts   I   Jobs                               

Small Ads & Local Services  


Hebrides News


Unite the union is warning that Scotland’s seas could be left wide open to illegal fishing, after members at Marine Scotland voted in favour of industrial action in a dispute over fair pay.


Fishery cruiser seafarers want pay equality with Cal Mac personnel which are wholly owned by the Scottish Government.


Marine Scotland operates Marine Protection Vessels and research ships to protect the seas and fisheries around the country.


Unite regional officer, Alexander Smart, said: “Our members at Marine Scotland do a difficult job, safeguarding our seas on behalf of all of us – and often spending long periods of time away from home. It is completely unfair that they are being paid less than other seafarers in the public sector.


“They want fair pay now. If they don’t get it, then industrial action is a real possibility. That would leave Scotland’s seas unprotected, with no checks on fishing vessels to make sure they are respecting quotas and net sizes.


“It would also mean that two science vessels would be tied up at dock – unable to carry out research that is used by the Scottish Government, the UK Government, and the European Union. That’s vital when it comes to setting fishing quotas.


“Our members want to avoid that situation – but unless there is movement from Marine Scotland and the Scottish Government to deliver fair pay, they will take action.”


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.


Marine Scotland said it is committed to a pay policy that is “fair for all.”


A spokesperson said: “Temporary and supplementary payments are reviewed on a regular basis to ensure staff recruitment and retention, while delivering value for money for Scotland’s taxpayers.


“Annual pay discussions between the Scottish Government and the trade unions have recently started and the parties have agreed to carry out a comparison exercise against other seafarer employers terms and conditions as part of those discussions.


He added:  “In addition, Marine Scotland management agreed last month to continue payment of the current pay supplement until October in order to continue to assess recruitment and retention issues in the sector and to allow the trade unions time to submit their own evidence for the longer term retention of the pay supplement payment.


Labour Highlands and Islands MSP, Rhoda Grant, said: “I have spent time a lot of time pressing Marine Scotland in person and in writing about fair pay for seafarers. The Scottish Parliament has backed fair pay for Marine Scotland workers, but we still have had no movement. That is completely unacceptable - and I sincerely hope that Marine Scotland and the Scottish Government will find a resolution to this before seafarers have to resort to industrial action.”


Fishery cruiser strike vote creates illegal fishing risk

 April 2017

Russian trawler fishing at Rockall