Highlands and Islands Airport Group gives staff 7% pay rise

Highlands and Islands Airport Group
Credit: Liner / Shutterstock.com

A total of 120 Highlands and Islands Airport Group employees have accepted a revised 7% pay rise, ending a long-running pay dispute and industrial action.

The majority (93%) of the employees, comprising security staff, baggage handlers, ground crew, fire and rescue, and security and administration staff, voted to accept the offer. It included a basic salary uplift of 7% for those earning up to £44,000, and a 5% increase to shift allowances.

The employees, who are members of the trade union Unite, voted 73.5% in favour of strike action, while 92.8% were in favour of taking action short of strike, in a bid to improve pay for rural communities amid the cost-of-living crisis.

Highlands and Islands Airport Group is wholly owned by the Scottish government, operating across 11 airports, including Barra, Benbecula, Campbeltown, Dundee, Inverness, Islay, Kirkwall, Stornoway, Sumburgh, Tiree and Wick.

Inglis Lyon, managing director of Highlands and Islands Airport Group, said: “We are pleased that the enhanced offer has been accepted by staff. The most recent offer exceeded the original flexibility of the Scottish government pay policy, providing a 7% salary uplift for those earning £44,000 or less, a 5% uplift for those earning up to £80,000, with 4% over that salary level. This positive result will provide our partner airlines with the certainty they require to plan air connectivity for their passengers.”

Shauna Wright, industrial officer at Unite, added: “The deal secured represents a significant shift in position from when the industrial action by Unite members started in December. We are pleased our members will receive a significant boost to their pay and conditions. We are also urging the Scottish government to grant the group the flexibility to negotiate with trade unions going forward and this must entail a review of how the public pay policy actually works in practice.”