Staff accept new pay offer

APACHE helicopter engineers at Wattisham Airfield have accepted a revised pay offer after threatening strike action.

Workers, who service the attack helicopters used in Afghanistan, had been in a dispute with their employers – Morson Wynnwith – over a £3,000-a-year pay discrepancy between themselves and engineers working for the company in Hampshire.

Around 100 members of Unite – the country’s biggest trade union – who work at the base, began industrial action earlier this month, claiming management had failed to keep its promise to close the salary gap.

Last week, the firm made a three-year pay offer including a 2.25 per cent salary rise in the first year, 2.5 per cent in the second and 2.75 per cent in the third, which was accepted yesterday.

Mark Robinson, Unite’s regional officer, said members had “overwhelming” accepted the revised pay offer but the union would be looking to close the pay gap further during future negotiations with the company.

“An independent job evaluation exercise is being undertaken comparing the roles between Wattisham and Middle Wallop to ascertain whether the pay differential is justifiable,” said Mr Robinson.

He added that a work to rule and overtime ban, started on September 7, had ceased.