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New pay deal agreed for North Sea diving crews

A new pay deal has been agreed which covers around 1,000 workers who are part of North Sea diving crews.

The Offshore Diving Industry Agreement (ODIA) is a pay and conditions settlement on behalf of six employers – Rever Offshore, Subsea 7, TechnipFMC, N-Sea, Helix Energy Solutions and KD Marine.

After several months of negotiations, an improved pay deal has been accepted by workers which the RMT union said “avoids the potential for strike action”.

A 7.5% pay rise has been agreed for the next two years, along with a package of other benefits.

It comes after workers rejected a series of previous offers on the agreement, which is negotiated every three years.The new deal was agreed after arbitration service Acas was brought in to assist the negotiating process.

RMT regional organiser Jake Molloy said: “I can confirm that our members have voted overwhelmingly to accept the revised and improved offer from the ODIA signatories, thereby avoiding the potential for strike action.

“With the oversight of Acas, we have agreed a deal which will see an increase to basic rates of pay over the next two years which is in line with those agreed with other professions across the offshore energy sector.”

Mr Molloy added that the deal will allow parties to refocus on helping the industry achieve Vision 2035, a shared goal to add a generation of prodution life to the North Sea and double supply chain opportunities internationally to deliver £920billion for the UK economy between 2018 and 2035.

He also referenced the industry’s “Just Transition” goals towards lower emissions.

Mr Molloy added: “We hope this deal will bring a degree of stability to the sector and allow all parties to engage in a meaningful way to discuss the future which should include oil and gas, decommissioning and renewables as part of the Vision 2035 objective and of course the ‘Just Transition’ process.”

In 2015, crews took a pay cut amid the oil and gas downturn which led to workers seeking improvements in the new negotiation.

The ODIA covers divers along with a host of workers in supporting offshore roles.

It dates back to the early 1980s and governs minimum rates of pay, allowances and health insurance for UK diving workers.

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