Rates of Pay and Conditions of Service 2017 - Orkney Ferries

To All Orkney Ferries Members

Our Ref: SH/0001/OF
20th November 2017

Dear Colleagues

Rates of Pay and Conditions of Service 2017 - Orkney Ferries

Further to my previous letter in which I advised you that you and your colleagues had unanimously rejected the company’s derisory pay offer via a referendum. I also report that the RMT had entered into a series of meetings with Orkney Ferries to seek an improvement to the company’s original pay offer. I can now report that the last of these meetings was convened on 13th November 2017, at this meeting Orkney Ferries stated that they were not willing to increase their offer of 1.5%. This beggars belief, as your union has spent the last few months negotiating in good faith in an attempt to seek improvements to your pay, it is now clear that the company had no interest in these pay talks and were just using them as a delaying tactic in the hope that the matter would quietly go away. This is a complete insult to you and your colleagues.           

This stubbornness has left the RMT with little option but to ballot members our members at Orkney Ferries for strike action and industrial action short of a strike. Accordingly, ballot papers will be despatched to your home addresses on Monday 27th November 2017 and the ballot will close on Tuesday 12th December 2017. I have informed the company that the RMT remains available for talks and I hope that management will see sense and take the necessary steps to resolve this dispute.

I cannot stress how important it is that you use your vote in this ballot. Due to the draconian anti-trade union laws, thresholds have to be met before the ballot can be validated. In a nutshell, the union requires a 50% turnout in the forthcoming ballot. Without meeting this threshold, the ballot will be declared invalid.

If you do not receive a ballot paper or are aware of a colleague that does not receive a ballot paper then please contact the RMT Helpline on 0800 376 3706.

I shall, of course, keep you updated with any further developments.


Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary