Power station staff employed by Nuclear Restoration Services strike over pay

Nuclear Restoration Services strikeMore than 500 workers employed by Nuclear Restoration Services (NRS) have begun strike action today (29 May) in a dispute over pay and conditions.

The craft technicians, general operators, engineers, maintenance fitters and safety advisors, who are members of trade union Unite, are based at the Dounreay power station in Scotland. A total of 85.5% of members previously backed strike action, with a turnout of 82.3%.

The employees overwhelmingly rejected an offer of a one-off £500 payment on top of a basic 4.5% increase, as they and Unite argued that it was below the rate of inflation.

In addition to today’s strike, the employees are also planning to take 24-hour strike action on 19 June. An overtime ban and an end to working voluntary appointments is planned from 1 to 18 June, and from 20 to 30 June.

An overtime ban will result in maintenance work that occurs at the weekend being undertaken during the working week, while voluntary appointments ensure the site meets the delivery targets in its lifetime plan. These have been suspended as part of the industrial action.

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A Nuclear Restoration Services spokesperson said: “We remain committed to finding a resolution that is fair and affordable. The site is open and our contingency plans have been implemented to ensure it remains safe, secure and compliant during any period of industrial action.”

Marc Jackson, industrial officer at Unite, added: “Unite is extremely disappointed that the senior management team have not even made contact to resolve this pay dispute. We have warned NRS that unless a revised pay offer is put on the table which our members can consider, then we are heading for prolonged industrial action. The extra days will have a substantial impact on the ability of NRS to undertake essential maintenance and safety work. It will also lead to Dounreay potentially being closed at points because it simply won’t have the people to do the jobs.”