Sector News

OCA: Challenging time for sector, but union vote allows us to move forward

January 8, 2016

The OCA’s (Offshore Contractors Association) chief executive Bill Murray said a vote by unions in favour of an offer would allow companies and employees to “move forward” after a year-long dispute.

Murray, who will step down from his role in March, spoke after it was revealed unions had chosen to accept new terms and conditions by more than 50%.

Workers have been in dispute for the past year over concerns regarding pay and a move to a “three on, three off” work pattern.

It is anticipated the new agreement will be applied retrosepctively June last year.

Murray said: “We are very pleased that members of Unite have now accepted our offer. Throughout the negotiations, the OCA has listened to the unions’ concerns about the potential impact of equal time rotas on health and safety and work-life balance.

“At the same time, union officials and shop stewards understood the need to take action together to reduce costs and become more efficient if we are to prevent installations closing and jobs being lost.

“The OCA, Unite and GMB have been in continuous dialogue since the last ballot to address these concerns and reach an agreement that will benefit all. A joint working party, facilitated by independent body ACAS, was set up to look at the impact of equal time rotas on work-life balance, health and safety, and earnings potential.

“OCA member companies have committed to monitoring and quarterly reporting on the effects on health and safety and work life balance of equal time rotas. We have also clarified the situation regarding holidays, stating that employees will be entitled to request one rotation off from work time in each holiday year and that such requests will not be reasonably refused.

“This is an extremely challenging time for the Oil and Gas sector. Today’s result allows us to move forward together in maximizing economic recovery from the North Sea. The new agreement will be applied retrospectively with effect from 19th June, 2015.”

By Niamh Forrest

Source: Energy Voice

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