One of Ayrshire's largest employers has agreed a new round of pay increases equivalent to an 18 per cent uplift for some staff.

Following backing from the majority of employees represented by the Unite and Prospect trade unions, Government-owned Glasgow Prestwick Airport has announced a two-year pay deal that will see all staff receive at least a 6% increase and the Real Living Wage of £10.90 per hour as minimum. There will also be an additional one-off payment of between £1,000 and £1,250 to help with the cost-of-living crisis.

Next year will see a further 4% increase along with a boost to employer pension contributions.

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The announcement comes after Unite said earlier this month that more than 80 of its members had agreed to accept a package of improvements to pay and conditions worth up to 18% for some workers. Unite represents employees working as airport security, firefighters, airfield operators, ground handling and cargo crew, customer service, and cleaners.

The pay deal was backed by 88% of staff from Unite and 94% of those represented by Prospect.

Noting that the airport made an operating profit in the latest financial year to March 2022, Glasgow Prestwick chief executive Ian Forgie said: “Over the last five years we have been steadily growing as a business supported by our dedicated staff, and I am pleased that we have been able to agree this two-year pay deal.

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“We will continue to unlock the airport’s potential by investing in facilities and our staff, as we progress a number of opportunities to deliver steady growth."

The airport was taken into public ownership in November 2013 after being purchased by the Scottish Government for £1. The facility was purchased from New Zealand firm Infratil after it incurred annual losses of £2m.

The Scottish Government has been trying to sell the airport but a preferred bidder pulled out of negotiations in May 2021. Ministers then re-engaged with the second-placed bidder, but “various concerns” were identified and it was not pursued further.

Glasgow Prestwick directly employs more than 300 people and supports a further 1,700 jobs through its supplier network.