Industrial Action Statement Latest Update

14 November 2023

Scottish Water maintained normal services to customers during industrial action by trade unions from last Friday to Monday due to robust contingency plans we had in place ahead of the strike.

A senior management team has been looking at all areas of Scottish Water activity that may be impacted by the ongoing industrial action led by members of Unison, Unite and GMB Scotland.

Scottish Water Chief Operating Officer Peter Farrer said: “We regret that the unions have taken industrial action. Scottish Water remains committed to reaching an agreement with our unions.

“This has been the case throughout the negotiations over the proposal to modernise a 21-year-old pay and grading structure and provide employees with an in-year award of at least 8% for all.

“Talks will resume between Scottish Water and the trade unions, with the help of ACAS, this Wednesday (November 15) and we hope these will be constructive with the unions willing to ballot their members on the proposals. Unless this happens no pay deal can be implemented before the festive period, which disadvantages those most seriously impacted by the cost of living crisis.

“We will do all we can to ensure customers do not experience any disruption to their water supplies and that treatment of the country’s waste water continues as usual, despite the industrial action.

“A reliable water source is vital for everyone. Maintaining public health and protecting the environment are our priorities and it is the responsible course of action for us to have contingency plans ready. We are committed to maintaining our high levels of customer service during this dispute and are confident that those staff members who do not strike will be ready, willing and able to help ensure we do so.

“We are dismayed the unions have taken this course of action over what, at 8% or more for all is an exceptional proposal for our people and one of the best in the public sector. It is incorrect to claim that the lowest paid workers face a pay cut. All staff would receive at least 8%.”

Customer Service General Manager Kevin Roy added: “It is essential we can continue to provide customers with the high standard of service they have come to expect from Scottish Water. We have looked in detail at how our vast range of activities might be impacted by this action and have put measures in place to minimise any disruption.