STAFF at Prestwick Airport could take possible industrial action after pay talks broke down.

Members of the Prospect union, who mostly work in specialist services, unanimously rejected the offer of a two per cent wage increase earlier this year and then submitted a counter proposal mirroring the Scottish Government’s public sector pay policy of rises of up to three per cent.

This was rejected by the airport’s board and staff could now be pushed for industrial action, however, Prestwick Airport’s HR director, Sonia Rafferty, says they have a “commitment to increase” the National Living Wage “by 2020”.

She said: “As the business operates as a separate commercial entity at arm’s length to the Scottish Government, the two per cent wage increase reflects affordability.

“At the beginning of discussions, it was made clear that the business continues to face a number of financial challenges and that this was the maximum amount that could be given. As part of this year’s offer, we have also extended our no compulsory redundancy pledge for a further 12 months.

“In addition, we are paying the National Living Wage with a commitment to increase this to the Scottish Living Wage by 2020.

“We thank our workforce for their continued support and understanding and want to ensure our employees receive a fair and suitable remuneration package as they work hard to ensure that the business has a long-term sustainable future.”

But Prospect negotiator, David Avery, want the Scottish Government to “stop turning a blind eye”.

He added: “We are calling on Prestwick’s owners, the Scottish Government, to stop turning a blind eye to the running of the airport and to ensure that they meet the pay policy standards they promised public sector staff in the February Budget.”

A Scottish Government spokesman commented: "Glasgow Prestwick Airport operates as a commercial entity at arm's length from the Scottish Government in line with European State Aid Rules.

"This is a matter for the senior management at the airport and the unions."

Colin Smyth, South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Transport Spokesperson, said: “It is deeply disappointing that staff at Prestwick Airport are not being offered the same deal as other public sector workers.

"There is one shareholder at Prestwick Airport and that’s the Scottish Government.

"The airport is publicly owned. The failure of the Scottish Government to do the right thing when it comes to workers pay at Prestwick makes a mockery of their so-called public sector pay policy."