More than 1,000 Scottish Water workers are set to take strike action following a vote, a union has said.
Unison said 78% of its 1,100 members – which include strategic planners, tanker drivers, scientists, sewage operators, technical specialists, engineers, accountants, water operatives and hydraulic modellers – voted for strike action following a ballot in August.
The union said the industrial action is in response to Scottish Water issuing a new pay structure which offers a below-inflation pay rise for key workers.
Unison said the proposed changes would increase managers’ wages by up to £10,000 and reduce earnings for low-paid staff by £5,000.
They added that there has been no successful negotiations, and that Scottish Water have been “withholding information” from trade unions.
Uunison regional organiser Emma Phillips said: “It seems that Scottish Government’s Fair Work and equality commitments don’t matter in our biggest and most precious public asset.
“There is a feeling amongst members that Scottish Water bosses are behaving like Victorian Mill owners – and this overwhelming vote for strike action is a reflection of how staff feel they are being treated.
“We met with ACAS on October 16 in an attempt to resolve matters. Unfortunately there was no positive progress made. We remain committed to resolving this dispute and have a further meeting early next week, however we are clear this is make or break.
“Unison and the other unions want to negotiate a new pay and grading structure with Scottish Water, but this is a complex process that relies on accurate data. It is not going to be resolved quickly and these discussions need to be separated from any cost of living pay offer.
“The key workers at Scottish Water need their overdue cost of living pay rise now.”
Scottish Water has been contacted for comment.
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