Highways agency pay dispute moves to strike ballot

More than 700 Highways Agency staff have received ballot papers today in a continuing dispute about pay.

About 615 traffic officers, engineers and other Highways Agency workers have already voted to reject a 3.6% pay rise, with only 105 voting to accept it.

Members of Prospect  union, which represents more than one third of all Highways Agency employees, threatened that a positive vote would trigger discontinuous action, starting with a one-day walk-out.

Prospect negotiator John Higgins said: “Highways Agency’s managers are patting themselves on the back because all of their key performance indicators have been met. But this was only possible because members worked above and beyond their contracts to provide 24/7 cover on time and on budget.”

“Their diligence in keeping the traffic flowing has earned them the nickname jambusters. But, after previous modest pay settlements, Treasury constraints have resulted in management imposing an offer that not only fails to provide ‘jam tomorrow’ but will see 80% of members taking a pay cut.”

The result of the ballot will be announced on 2 February.

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