Coastguards could go on strike for the first time ever after staff at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency voted overwhelmingly to reject management’s 2006 pay offer.
Members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) working at the agency voted against the cost of living increase which, the union claims, averages just 2.5% for many and penalises experienced staff with pay increases of less than 1%.
The pay row has been rumbling on since August 2006.
Members are also angry that management have ignored the findings of pay comparison exercises carried out towards the end of 2006 which have supported the union’s claim for comparability with other 999 emergency services.
Paul Smith, PCS negotiations officer for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: “With coastguard members actively considering industrial action for the first time ever, it is high time for management to start negotiating seriously and offer decent pay to those who deliver a vital emergency service.”