Heathrow avoids summer of “disruption, delays and cancellations”, as security staff accept ‘substantial’ pay offer

Image above: a plane taking off from Heathrow Airport; library image

Workers receive up to 17.5% pay rise following negotiations with Heathrow

Heathrow Airport has avoided a summer of “disruption, delays and cancellations” after its security workers voted to accept an improved pay offer.

Over 2,000 security officers at Heathrow Terminal 3, 5, and Campus Security, responsible for checking all airside workers and vehicles, had planned to stage a total of 31 days of strike action throughout the summer. But, following negotiations, Heathrow made a revised offer that was ultimately accepted by members of Unite – the union representing Heathrow security staff.

The new deal includes a substantial pay increase for the security officers, ranging from 15.5% to 17.5% depending on their pay banding position. The agreement stipulates a 10% raise to all basic salary, shift pay, and allowances, effective from January. In addition, there will be an additional 1.5% pay increase starting in October 2023.

The deal also addresses other important issues, such as spot rates, salary ranges, formal pay progression, and an inflation-based increase of at least 4% in 2024.

The agreement, according to Unite, brings about significant improvements in workers’ rights at Heathrow Airport. It marks the end of direct deployment, a practice where employees could be shifted between terminals without warning. The removal of agency workers from security roles will also be implemented promptly, according to the deal. Maternity pay will be improved, and there will be an increase in paternity pay as well.

Image above: Security staff at Heathrow, Heathrow Terminal 5

Pay deal demonstration Unite’s power to improve worker’s pay and conditions, says Union’s General Secretary

Speaking after announcing the pay offer was accepted on Friday (23 June), Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham hailed the resolution as a hard-fought victory:

“The pay deal at Heathrow is a further demonstration of how Unite’s complete focus on jobs, pay, and conditions is having direct benefits for its members.”

Wayne King, Unite’s regional co-ordinating officer, acknowledged the pivotal role played by the union’s representatives and members in securing an improved offer from Heathrow. He said:

“The solidarity and dedication of Unite’s reps and members was fundamental in ensuring HAL returned to the negotiating table with an improved offer.’’

Planned strike dates included 24-25 and 28-30 June, 14-16, 21-24, and 28-31 July, as well as 4-7, 11-14, 18-20, and 24-27 August.

Many passengers had been concerned about the potential impact on their travel plans.