Pay dispute

Scottish Water workers to strike amid bonus row

Scottish Water
Cash on tap: workers will strike as executives receive huge bonuses

Scottish Water workers are due to walk out in a dispute over pay – as the publicly-owned utility faces criticism for awarding three executives nearly £3 million since 2020.

Pay packages for Douglas Millican, Alan Scott and Peter Farrer included about £1m in bonuses. Each received a six-figure long-term incentive payment last year.

The fat cat deals have emerged as hundreds of staff plan four days of strikes in a dispute over pay and grading.

Unite said its strikes would continue weekly for three months. Members of the GMB union are also planning strike action. Unison claims a new pay grading proposal would see the earnings of the lowest-paid workers drop by up to £5,000.

Scottish Water said it was dismayed that unions had taken this course of actions while it remained “committed to reaching an agreement”.

A Scottish government spokesperson said the pay of Scottish Water executives was “in line with public-sector pay rules.

“The current remuneration package for the CEO and senior management is significantly smaller than that paid by comparable utilities, both in terms of salary and bonus incentives.”.

Speaking in Parliament today, Scottish Liberal Democrat Willie Rennie said:  “Sewage dumped 14,000 times last year. Faecal bacteria 50 times the legal limit in Lower Largo. Dry sewage dumping in St Andrews.

“How on earth can the First Minister justify such whopping bonuses when those Scottish Water bosses are responsible for such failure?”

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