Rhoda Grant comes out in support of Dounreay workers’ pay claim


15 December 2016

MSP Rhoda Grant has called on Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd (DSRL) to shift from its seemingly intractable position of offering its workers only a 1% pay deal.

 Mrs Grant, who represents Labour in the Highlands and Islands, recently met with representatives of the Thurso and Wick Trades Union Council.

 “As people may be aware, unions are in negotiations with the company regarding annual cost of living increase,” explained Mrs Grant.

 “Negotiations have been protracted because the offer of 1% is not acceptable and has been overwhelmingly rejected by members.

“Some might say that the 1% is the public sector cap but let’s put this in context, Cavendish Dounreay Partnership - the Parent Body Organisation of DSRL - has made millions of pounds profit this year.

 “However, it appears it is not prepared to use its profits, built partly by the good work of people in Dounreay, to improve that offer. Put bluntly, the management is saying to workers ‘that’s all you are worth!

 “Most people would think that just isn’t fair and I’m calling on management to get around the table to negotiate an improved offer. It would be a pity if unions were forced down the road of moving to a statutory ballot on industrial action.

 “Previous pay deals have been around two to three per cent which would be a reasonable offer for the hard work of all those involved in cleaning up the site at Dounreay.”

 Mrs Grant is also backing the Trades Council in it claim that DSRL’s decision to reduce contractors, which resulted in 20 people losing their jobs, was poorly handled.

 “DSRL, meanwhile, has placed external adverts for recruitment of new decommissioning operators. So, it appears that there is a need for more co-ordination and flexibility when recruiting for staff,” she added.