Our Ref: SH/15/4

12th June 2020

Dear Colleague,


With reference to the above, I write to you to update you on the latest developments in this matter. Last year the OCA board notified RMT and our sister unions that they wanted to terminate the agreement on 30th June 2020. Meetings have continued through lockdown and in early May, the OCA board met with the joint trade unions to inform us that their position had not changed. The companies offered what they felt was a compromise in that each of the member companies was prepared to enter into individual voluntary recognition agreements with RMT and our sister unions.

At further joint trade union meetings it was suggested that we make a counter proposal that the ‘association’ be dissolved and that instead of the agreement being signed by the ‘association’ on behalf of member companies, we establish an agreement similar to the Offshore Diving Industry Agreement (ODIA) and the Caterers Offshore Trade Agreement (COTA). We have met with the employers to discuss the proposal and it was made clear from the outset that all three trade unions would be signatories to any new agreement if established. We have proposed that the clause setting out the requirement to serve notice of termination of the OCA be removed and replaced with an alternative statement.

The companies have already gone on the record to say they will honour the terms of the agreement until January 1st 2021, so if we fail to reach agreement on the creation of a new arrangement they can simply walk away.

Removing the threat of notice being served gives all parties the opportunity to meet and discuss proposals around a new model. RMT and our sister unions propose each company will be independent signatories and we will actively seek to persuade other companies to become signatories and where they don’t, RMT and our sister unions will collaborate to secure recognition and use this as leverage to encourage companies to become signatories.

Talks are continuing in this matter and I will keep you advised of further developments.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary