UNISON members working for the Environment Agency (EA) are being consulted on the latest pay offer, with the union recommending that they reject the employer’s offer of 2%, plus a £345 one-off consolidated payment, and take part in industrial action to seek improvements.
The offer falls short of the claim the EA unions jointly submitted in March this year and follows a 0% rise for most staff in 2021 after a decade of below inflation pay rises.
UNISON national secretary Donna Rowe-Merriman said: “EA Members are seeing this offer as an insult – especially as offers for other public sector workers are higher.
“The EA is underfunded, and staff feel undervalued and underpaid. How much money the agency receives to protect the environment, support our communities, and reward staff, is decided by political choices made by the UK government.
“The money is there for the EA to be properly resourced – including staff salaries.”
Ms Rowe-Merriman noted that, in the last two years, members have seen attacks on their terms and conditions, as well as a “lack of parity in pay between field operations staff and other staff grades.”
She said: “The government needs to put its money where its mouth is and recognise the value to our society of having a well-paid, well-resourced workforce, able to deliver environmental protection 24/7 and protect communities in times of environmental crisis.”
UNISON members are being consulted via an online ballot, which is running from 1 August to 2 September 2022.