HC Deb 25 July 1968 vol 769 cc195-6W
Mr. Judd

asked the Secretary of State for Defence whether he will make a statement on the new pay structure for craftsmen in the Royal Naval Dockyards.

Dr. David Owen

When, stemming from Report No. 18 of the National Board for Prices and Incomes on the pay of the industrial Civil Service, a new pay structure was agreed with the Trade Union Side for implementation from 1st July, 1967, provision was made for two levels of craftsmen, one for tasks calling for normal craft skills and the other for tasks requiring greater skill and other qualities. In the Dockyards, the wage for the ordinary (Grade II) craftsman is 327s. per week and that for the higher (Grade I) craftsman is 367s. per week.

This was for the Royal Dockyards a new concept and lengthy discussions took place on the Shipbuilding Trades Joint Council to formulate a definition of those tasks which should attract the higher (Grade I) craft rate. At the March 1968 meeting of the Council a definition was agreed between the Official and Trade Union Sides. Since that date Dockyard Managements have been identifying the tasks which conform to this definition. Having done so they, in accordance with the agreement reached with the trades unions, informed local trades union officials of the selections and promoted the men. I understand that implementation has given rise to certain misgivings at Portsmouth; these will, of course, be discussed with the trades unions concerned.