FURTHER ferry strikes have been averted after unions struck a deal to allay fears about jobs and pensions if CalMac’s contract is won by a rival bidder.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union and Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) said they had won an agreement from transport minister Derek Mackay protecting current conditions and pensions.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said it had also been agreed that private sector challenger Serco would be expected to honour the current no compulsory redundancies agreement if it won the next eight-year ferry contract from next year.
The settlement came during the fourth day of peace talks and follows a one-day strike by the RMT on 3 July which forced the cancellation of two thirds of CalMac’s sailings.
General secretary Mick Cash said: “Thanks to the hard work of our negotiators we have reached a clear agreement on the key issues which enables us to settle this dispute.
“Although the dispute is over, the fight to retain the lifeline ferry services in the public sector continues.”
Mr Mackay said invitations to tender would now be issued to CalMac and Serco on 31 July.
He said “I am very pleased an agreement has now been reached that ends the threat of further strike action.”