The Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) has pledged better “engagement” with the North Sea workforce to avoid future pay disputes.
New “workforce engagement sessions” proposed today will look to resolve issues earlier through “a more effective exchange of views”.
The OCA said the sessions hope to “promote a better understanding of offshore challenges” in order to “develop long term solutions”.
North Sea workers accepted a revised pay offer from the Offshore Contractors’ Association (OCA) in January folowing a prolonged dispute.
The long-running negotiations between unions and the OCA had been ongoing since January 2018 and two pay offers had already been rejected.
It resulted in 2,500 members voting to accept the proposals, quashing the threat of North Sea strike action.
The new sessions will also look to support the delivery of Roadmap 2035 which aims to Maximizing Economic Recovery (MER) for the UKCS and the goal of net zero, the OCA said.
Irene Bruce, the OCA’s workforce and industry engagement manager said the programme was a “positive step forward for the industry”.
She added: “We believe the supply chain will prove most effective when a genuine partnership exists between the OCA, member companies, workforce and trade unions.”
The workforce engagement forum is now meeting quarterly with the primary objective of improving engagement and communications between the workforce and the OCA member companies.
Members of the forum, which is facilitated by the OCA, include workforce representatives, OCA member companies and trade union officials.
Ms Bruce added: “We are engaging with the workforce to come up with solutions to benefit the industry across the four working groups.
“We are also particularly keen to improve access to communications, create fresh opportunities to ensure two-way feedback and increase the voice of the workforce by increasing workforce representation.
“The OCA has a pivotal role to play and we firmly believe that this initiative is an important step towards furthering collaboration across the industry.”