Environment Agency Unison members call off strike at 11am

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Unison members of the Environment Agency (EA) were due to walk out at 6am on Friday as a dispute over pay continues.

However, the workers pledged to intervene as an emergency protection of “life and limb” if the incident threatens life or property.

However, Unison suspended action just 14 hours before it was scheduled to begin.

The workers were embroiled in a long-running dispute over wages and left earlier this year.

They also raised concerns about the EA’s use of automatic flood warnings during industrial action.

In a message to members, Unison’s national secretary Donna Rowe Merriman said the decision to call off the strike was taken following developments in the pay dispute.

He said: “Following high-level consultations between UNISON, the Environment Agency, DEFRA and the Cabinet Office, UNISON has been informed that the Environment Agency’s Pay Flexibility Business Case (PFBC) has been approved in relation to the Cabinet Office’s Payroll Remittance Guidance. ” he said.

“The PFBC is the only mechanism by which the Environment Agency can increase salaries beyond the published civil service pay policy.”

She added: “Unison’s Environment Agency sector committee met today and decided to suspend proceedings from 3 to 6 November, with the strict condition that wage negotiations begin immediately.” he added.

This decision will come as a relief to the EA and many Shropshire residents as the country and county are currently dealing with the effects of Storm Ciaran.

Just last month, EA workers were called to mass action across Shropshire and other parts of the country during unprecedented rainfall caused by Storm Babette.

In an update to members, Ms Lou Merriman said the union would consider returning to strike action if a satisfactory agreement could not be reached.

She said: “This decision to suspend strike action has not been taken lightly by your sector committee and is based on negotiations with the employer with the possibility of reaching a timely settlement in 2023/2024. It is worth mentioning that this was an opportunity to launch the .

“However, if a satisfactory agreement cannot be reached between the parties, the union may resume its industrial action mandate.”

EA employees are frustrated that their wages rose by just 2% last year, compared to 11% inflation.

Workers’ wages have not increased so far this year.



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