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Dounreay strikes called off as unions consider new pay offer

By Gordon Calder

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Industrial action planned this week by three unions at Dounreay over a pay dispute has been called off following a new offer being made by management.

Unite, GMB and Prospect were due to strike on Wednesday and Thursday but the unions have confirmed that will not happen now.

Union members will consider the revised offer. Picture: DSRL/NDA
Union members will consider the revised offer. Picture: DSRL/NDA

However, if the new offer is rejected then industrial action will take place on May 15.

Kim Thain, the vice-chair of the Trade Union Co-ordinating Committee at Dounreay and the deputy GMB lead, said: “I can confirm that a new offer has been made by the company and industrial action has been suspended until the results of each union’s ballot is known. Should the offer be rejected, industrial action will commence as planned on May 15, with future dates to be confirmed and notified to the company as necessary.”

A Dounreay spokesperson said: “We have been advised the industrial action scheduled to begin on May 1 has been suspended while the trade unions consider an improved offer tabled by the company. We look forward to a response from the trade unions in due course.”

The unions planned to take action on May 1 and 2 and again on May 15 and May 29 after rejecting a pay offer from Nuclear Restoration Services Limited (NRS).

Members of Unite, the GMB and Prospect voted to take action in a ballot which resulted in a huge majority in favour of going on strike – 85.5 per cent, 84.9 per cent and 72.8 per cent respectively.

The figures for taking action short of a strike were higher at 92.7 per cent (GMB), 89.8 per cent (Unite) and 87.4 per cent (Prospect).

The unions rejected a 4.5 per cent offer backdated to April 2023 and said NRS had “a final opportunity” to resolve the dispute by making a revised pay offer to the workforce.

The pay offer was previously rejected by 95 per cent of members in a consultative pay ballot. The union said the offer amounted to a substantial real-terms pay cut as the rate of inflation was 11.4 per cent at the time.

The unions’ membership includes craft technicians, general operators, chemical and electrical engineers, maintenance fitters and safety advisors.

NRS has recently changed its trading name from Magnox Limited.

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