Union’s pay offer revealed in ongoing OCA dispute

Crunch talks with the OCA have been rescheduled.
Tuesday’s seminar at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre will kick off with an opening address from Mark Swan, group director of safety and airspace regulation at the Civil Aviation Authority.

More details have emerged on the latest pay offer on the table for offshore workers in an ongoing dispute with employers.

The Unite and GMB unions have been holding lengthy talks in the hope of securing improved terms and conditions for the North Sea workforce.

Unite said in December that its members had “overwhelmingly” rejected proposals from the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA).

The unions said the deal would not have delivered the terms they had been seeking for workers, including a wage increase, improved sick pay and paid travel time.

They then invoked a “dispute resolution procedure” and started preparing strike action ballots to press the OCA into an agreement.

Unite and GMB said earlier this week that they had received a “formal pay increase offer” from the OCA, the umbrella body for offshore contractors and were waiting on member feedback.

According to the OCA, the proposal guarantees that basic and sick pay will increase by a minimum of two per cent for each of the next two years.

It is designed to keep pace with the cost of living by linking the second year to the Consumer Prices Index and applies an immediate two per cent increase to basic and sick pay.

Paul Atkinson, chief executive of the Offshore Contractors Association, said: “This consultative ballot follows some positive negotiations that have focused on reaching an agreement that will help protect and sustain North Sea employment now and in the future.”

“We hope that union members will feel able to support our offer so we can move forward together in making sure that the North Sea is a great place to work and do business.

The OCA’s full members include Petrofac, Wood Group PSN and Stork.

A consultative ballot on whether to accept the proposals will take place over the next month, closing at noon on March 20.