Pension talks involving the airport group AGS and the firefighters and other staff at Southampton airport have progressed to a stage where a deal can be put to workers.
Unite, the country’s largest union, confirmed today (Tuesday 12 July) that further discussions took place between AGS and the trade unions at the conciliation service Acas yesterday (Monday 11 July) to consider options for the defined benefit (DB) pension scheme to remain open to future accrual for existing members.
A proposed negotiated settlement to the dispute is being actively pursued through the trade union committees and members with the aim of resolving the dispute.
AGS Airports is a partnership between Ferrovial and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), established in 2014, to acquire Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports.
This deal also includes a proposed settlement for the pay arrangements for Glasgow and Southampton airports respectively for 2016. While further talks need to be undertaken with AGS, the discussions concluded on a ‘very positive’ basis. An update will be issued later.
The Southampton ballot of the firefighters – the result was due to be known tomorrow (Wednesday 13 July) – will be suspended, depending on the final outcome of the talks. Firefighters were the only group of workers balloted at Southampton.
Unite regional officer Phil Silkstone said: “Unite from the outset has endeavoured to reach a negotiated settlement with AGS over the proposed changes to pensions’ schemes changes at Southampton.
“We are pleased that we have reached an agreement in principle which safeguards and extends our members’ interests while the company saves up to £3.5 million-a-year. We will now take the offer to our members for their approval.”
Southampton airport caters for nearly 1.8 million passengers a year.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble in the Unite press office on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.