It’s been a wee while since my last entry. I’ve been on the ship for about 10 days now and the only thing noteworthy (apart of course from the constant rumour mill that has a permanent state of rumbling) is the long awaited ‘Performance Related Pay Review’. It’s amazing how the imminent arrival of a simple letter can raise expectations and the actual arrival raise so many conspiracy theories. The first point I guess is that the letters were supposed to have been sent out on the 1st of July. They arrived on peoples doorsteps on the 7th July (7/7/07????) prompting the speculation that this was a deliberate ploy so that the recipients would have two days to calm down before harassing the personnel department / line managers on the Monday morning! I have to say that my own cynical view is that the HR department have pulled a master-stroke in the ‘divide and conquer’ route. Many of the personnel (largely those attached with the diving side of operations) received a union related pay raise of 25% in November then another 5% in April (with two more 5% hikes to come before our next anticipated review) while we were all told that we had to wait until the official review date of July 1st. Then in the intervening time, due to a large migration of personnel, the company implemented a review of the ROV staff in May, while yet again, the rest of us had to wait till July. Our pay review, when it arrived, was not as great as the ROV personnels, never mind the diving side. To be honest I don’t begrudge the scale that the ROV personnel received, as traditionally they have always lagged behind our rates for similar positions. However, from the technical point of view, Dive Technicians and our Technicians have similar roles and responsibilities and I would say that our work is more intensively technical. But, of course, the company only paid lip service to the union agreement by implementing the new pay-scale only on ‘day-rate’ personnel of the fewest disciplines and departments they could get away with. So they have successfully splintered the workforce, destroying any unity between the groups while giving each unit the minimum amount to temporarily placate them and stop the potential exodus to the competition. Hats off to you.