Big freeze hits Southern Water pay as firm bids to stave off job cuts

Southern Water has decided to freeze staff pay to prevent job losses.

The water supply company covering the South East of England has confirmed it will keep fix pay levels for its 1,600 staff including senior directors stagnant, to try and avoid redundancies.

Last week the UK’s biggest water company Thames Water announced 300 job losses as a result of the recession.

But Southern Water said it was preserving jobs as a priority. A statement said: “To help counter the effects of the recession and avoid job losses one measure that would regrettably be taken was a pay freeze for 2009-10.

“We told staff this was not a decision we wanted to take, neither was it one that reflected on their performance.

“It is a direct result of the unprecedented economic downturn which has seen many people lose their jobs in our region.”

However, trade union Unison, which had asked for a 6% pay rise in December, said the move to freeze wages was a “slap in the face” to staff. It claimed company directors would take bonuses in the current financial year if staff achieved their targets.

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