British seafarers delivering vital aid to hurricane-stricken islands in the Caribbean should not continue to be subjected to the government's hardline pay policy, Nautilus says.
The Union said it would be wrong to keep the pay cap for Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) seafarers – and other 'public service' crews – because of their vital work in supporting UK maritime interests, including defence, humanitarian support, and navigational safety.
The government is wrong to adopt a "divide and rule" policy for public sector pay – and it should not exclude seafarers working for the RFA, Natural Environment Research Council, British Antarctic Survey, Marine Scotland Compliance, the UK Border Force and other essential shipping operations from any move to lift the austerity restrictions. Nautilus general secretary, Mark Dickinson
'Once again, the RFA is in the front line of UK crisis response, and our members have been delivering life-saving support to stricken communities. It is time for the government to deliver for them, and to ensure that public service shipping can recruit and retain the skilled seafarers it needs for the future,' Mr Dickinson added.
After the government moved to lift the public sector pay cap to offer a pay rise to prison and police officers, Trades Union Congress general secretary Frances O'Grady said: 'Police and prison officers are long overdue a pay rise, but so too are the nurses, firefighters and all public servants working across the country.
'This is not a popularity contest. Ministers must not cherry-pick some workers for a pay rise, while leaving others in the cold. Public sector workers' pay has fallen for seven long years. They have all earned a pay rise.'