Engineers at Commonwealth Games bus operator First Group Glasgow have overwhelmingly rejected a 1.2% pay offer for 2014-15 after a consultative ballot, prompting Unite to re-serve notice of impending industrial action to the employer.
The latest offer was tabled before Unite members’ following ACAS negotiations last week. However, the new offer – which amounts to a small increase of less than £6 a week for day shift operatives – was kicked-out by a majority of 145 to 3.
Boss doubles his pay
Anger among the workers increased in the aftermath of ACAS negotiations when it was revealed First Group Executive Tim O’Toole saw his pay award double to £2 million for 2014-15, while other directors enjoyed pay rises worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Unite regional industrial officer Eddie Duffy said: “This resounding rejection by the First Glasgow engineers should serve as a wake-up call to the company and the local managing director, Fiona Kerr.
“Last week’s revelations that executive pay at First Group shot through the roof while our members were being consulted on a meagre 1.2% pay offer proved the final straw for a proud workforce that is steeped in the best traditions of the Glasgow bus industry.
In your face
“For years they have worked through below-inflation pay awards to help sustain the company’s Glasgow operations but with such pay disparity being so publicly flaunted when many of our members are struggling to keep up with the basic cost of living, its little wonder anger is intensifying.
“Our message to Fiona Kerr and First Group is this: to avoid strike action, come back with a fair pay offer that meets the expectations of this workforce because it’s clear the finance is there to do so.”