Rothesay harbour staffing levels under review

Rothesay harbour.
Rothesay harbour.

Argyll and Bute Council is set to review staffing levels at Rothesay harbour in the light of a report which describes the high rates of overtime among the people who work at its piers and harbours.

The Argyll and Bute Harbour Board considered a report last week on shift patterns, staffing levels and overtime at all the piers, harbours and ferries owned by the authority.

The report says overtime payments to staff at Rothesay currently constitute 29 per cent of basic pay - just below the average for the whole area of 30 per cent.

The report states: “Overtime payments appear high for both ‘piers and harbours’ staff and ferry crews.

“In general, our manned marine facilities and ferries operate from early in the morning to late evening as the service demands; shift patterns have been arranged to provide cover during these lengthy operating times.

“Under the present regime, it is impracticable to operate many of the council’s marine facilities without working high levels of overtime.”

A review of those shift patterns and staffing levels among all ‘piers and harbours’ staff and ferry crews will be carried out over the summer months, with findings presented by the end of the year.

The report continues: “Full consultation will be held with the unions and staff during the forthcoming review, where we will be seeking to improve upon the current working arrangements.

“Full regard will be given to ensuring that the overall needs of the service are met, whilst ensuring that this can be done in as efficient a manner as possible.”

Fourteen members of staff are currently employed at Rothesay harbour, according to the report - one harbourmaster, four assistant harbourmasters (two of whom job-share) and eight pier operatives.

That compares to four in Campbeltown (rising to six during the summer), seven in Dunoon (ten during the winter period when MV Coruisk is operating on the Gourock passenger ferry service), two in Oban and two in Kilcreggan.