Environment Agency staff vote on strike action over pay

The Environment Agency has refused to make a better offer – or even to reopen talks

The threat of industrial action is looming at the Environment Agency after it decided to force a below inflation pay rise on its 10,000 staff earlier this year, says UNISON today (Thursday).

UNISON is asking Environment Agency staff whether they would be prepared take industrial action to try to win a better wage rise than the 1.3% that’s been imposed on them. Since 2010 staff have faced a 20% real-terms pay cut.

UNISON says staff working for the agency are understandably angry, especially as the increase is way below that given to other public sector workers.

For example, colleagues doing the same job at the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency have accepted an offer of 3% for low-paid workers and 2% for higher earners.

UNISON national officer for the environment Andrew Dobbie said: “These hardworking staff have suffered pay rises well below the cost of living for years.

“Despite this, the Environment Agency has refused to make a better offer – or even to reopen talks.

“Employees and their families deserve a fair pay deal, one that reflects the vital work they do tackling pollution and keeping communities safe from flooding.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in both the public and private sectors.
– The ballot closes on Wednesday 3 April.

Media contacts:
Anna Mauremootoo T: 020 7121 5555 E: A.Mauremootoo@unison.co.uk
Liz Chinchen T: 0207 121 5463 M: 07778 158175 E: l.chinchen@unison.co.uk