Met Office staff strike over pay freeze

Weather forecast map-2015

Met Office employees walked out for three hours yesterday (26 February) due to a dispute over pay. 

Around 300 weather service workers based at the organisation’s Exeter office, as well as staff based in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and other frontline stations participated in the strike action.

All are members of trades union Prospect, which believes the employees are not being paid a fair wage compared to market rates.

This is the first time the Met Office has been met with strike action from employees since it opened in 1854.

In Prospect’s opinion, because the Met Office belongs to a government department and is not an independent organisation, it is unable to pay fair market rates, so employees are facing similar pay freezes to many public sector workers.

A spokesperson from the Met Office said: “We are disappointed that some staff chose to take this action but our robust business continuity measures ensured that there was no impact on Met Office operational services as a result of the action.

“We worked closely with the Trades Union Prospect to ensure that the industrial action was mitigated for any service where safety of life is at risk, for example: severe weather warnings.

“We recognise the right of staff to take this action based on a legal mandate.”

Gordon Hutchinson, Prospect representative, said: “It shows how strongly people feel about a government pay policy completely at odds with what the prime minister [David Cameron] advocates for the private sector.

“Cameron says successful businesses should give their staff a pay rise, but won’t allow the Met Office freedom to manage its own reward system.”