Unions mull crisis-hit National Grid’s improved pay offer

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The Independent Online

Unions are considering a revised pay offer from National Grid as the FTSE-100 giant looks to put an end to its industrial relations crisis.

Around 2,500 staff, including control-centre workers and some engineers, are currently working to rule at a time when National Grid desperately needs them to be available to work overtime.

National Grid's boss, Steve Holliday, has offered improved terms of a 2.5 per cent increase for the year to July and 3 per cent over each of the next two years. There is also a one-off, 1 per cent bonus for this year.

This is up from last year's settlement of a 7.2 per cent increase over three years. However, a potential sticking point is that National Grid has demanded that the unions – Unison, Unite and Prospect – suspend industrial action before concluding the agreement.

At least two of the unions are thought to object to this condition, though Unison is believed to be informally balloting members in response to National Grid's offer.

Industrial action is spreading throughout the economy as the coalition's cuts start to bite. On Friday, Post Office workers voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike over pay, job security and the future of the network.

National Grid shares closed at 572p on Friday, up 0.5p on the start of the day's trading, valuing the company at nearly £20bn.