Pay rise for Scunthorpe steelworkers after British Steel reaches deal with trade union negotiators

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 14 Nov 2017

The Scunthorpe-based British Steel company has agreed its first-ever pay deal with negotiators from the Community, Unite and GMB trade unions.

Under the deal reached on Friday, the town’s 3,000 steelworkers will receive a four per cent rise, spread over two years.

The money will be paid in instalments of one per cent every six months, with the first payment back-dated to October 1.

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The deal is the first to be negotiated since British Steel took over the former loss-making Tata Steel Long Products business in June last year.

British Steel chief executive officer Peter Bernscher said: "The hard work and dedication of our people has helped us start the turnaround of our business and, while there’s a long way to go if we’re to become truly sustainable, we wanted to recognise their valued contributions.

British Steel chief executive Peter Bernscher.

"I’d like to thank the unions for their support during this ongoing process, and our employees for their commitment to building a stronger future for British Steel."

At the time of the takeover the trade unions and their members agreed to a pay freeze, a year-long three per cent cut in wages and pension contributions and an end to bonus schemes not linked to profit to help get British Steel into the black.

After reporting a first year pre-tax profit of £47 million, British Steel repaid the three per cent and launched a scheme where one million shares are allocated to employees on June 1 each year, with the value to always equate to five per cent of the overall equity of the company.

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Today, Paul McBean, the Scunthorpe site multi-union chairman, said: "British Steel’s employees have been, and will continue to be, central to the turnaround of this business, so it's only right their efforts are rewarded.

"Given there’s still much to be done, and the challenges we face, we believe this is the best possible deal for our members and employees."

Acceptance of the four per cent deal comes after the workforce in a ballot rejected a previous offer of a one-off lump sum payment of £300, which was subject to tax and National Insurance deductions.

At the time, the unions told their members they were unable to recommend acceptance of the offer.

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