Disappointment at result of divers’ pay referendum

3 December 2012

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The signatory group to the UK Offshore Diving Industry Agreement (ODIA) is disappointed by the result of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) referendum on a final offer on pay and conditions for divers and support crews working in the UK North Sea, ODIA announced late last week.

The new three-year deal offered an increase of four per cent in year one and RPI plus one per cent in years two and three (with a floor and ceiling of 1.5 per cent and four per cent respectively) on standard minimum rates of pay and established bonuses, as well as other key benefits designed to improve working conditions.

"We are deeply disappointed by the result of this referendum," said Hamish Petersen, chairman, ODIA. "We recognise and appreciate the hard work done by our diving teams. A new three-year agreement is important for them, and for the companies who engage them, and is regrettable that we have not been able to achieve this to date. We feel that a period of 'time out' might be the best response, now, to give all parties time to reflect, regroup and consider options. The Signatories still wish to secure an agreement that will enable us, together, to get on with winning work; providing excellent quality diving services in these challenging economic times; and to move forward to achieve common goals."

The ODIA signatories' aim remains securing an agreement for 2012 - 2015 that is fair for all stakeholders and promotes the long-term sustainability of the industry in the North Sea, ODIA stated.

Petersen added: "All the signatories of the ODIA seek to recruit and retain a workforce with the skills and competence they need to meet business demands, and want to ensure that their workforce receives pay rises in line with a number of market comparables - including earnings in the broader economy, settlements within the industry and pay relativities within their own organisations."

Negotiations started in November 2011, and the current Agreement on minimum pay and conditions for North Sea diving personnel expired at the end of October this year. The ODIA came into existence during the early 1980s. Signatory members to the agreement are Bibby Offshore, Helix Well Ops, Integrated Subsea Services, KD Marine, Stork Technical Services, Subsea 7 and Technip.