Unite issued a media release on May 3, 2023 outlining their intention to ballot Edinburgh Airport workers on strike action.
This follows the rejection of a pay offer comprising an 11% pay rise and £1,000 cost of living payment put forward by the airport - an offer the union asked for.
Our response to the claims made in this release can be found below.
“It's disappointing that we are in this situation despite meeting the request of our unions - an 11% pay rise along with a £1,000 cost of living payment. We believe this is a fair and competitive offer and one that was asked for by both of our recognised unions through our collective bargaining arrangement. Both said they would recommend the offer to members.
“One union saw overwhelming support for the agreed offer and we cannot understand why Unite campaigned against and rejected the very offer they asked us for.
“We have sought clarity on Unite’s membership numbers given the tight nature of the result where the vote against was carried by less than 1% of the membership, and we have raised serious concerns about the integrity of the ballot and the number of members that voted.
“We hope to resolve these issues at our scheduled ACAS meeting to allow us to deliver the wage rise and cost of living payment that we want to pay our team.”
“We appreciate that the offer being made at Gatwick is a good one but if we really want to compare this to the offer being made at Edinburgh then it must be taken in context.
“Despite the challenges of Covid this will be the third pay rise given to the team at Edinburgh Airport since 2020. This is the first offer made by Gatwick in the same timeframe.
“This means that the Edinburgh team would have received an overall pay increase of 19.6% over the same time.”
We don’t recognise Unite’s membership numbers quoted in the news release. This does not tally with our own numbers and the numbers we have received from Unite.
If the latest number of 275 is to be believed, that would reflect less than 40% of our team so therefore not an overwhelming majority as stated.
In terms of engagement, we have a date at ACAS to progress with pay talks with the intention of resolving the dispute at the earliest date that union representatives are available after their holidays.
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