STAFF working for an electricity company have been told that their salaries could be cut.

Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), which has offices in Basingstoke, told The Gazette that it has been working with the trade unions to “identify a group of employees that historically have been paid above the salary range for the roles they are carrying out.”

A joint agreement has been set up for these members of staff, who can opt to protect their salaries for three years, and then suffer a salary cut at the end of those three years, or have their salaries cut now and receive the money that the payment protection would have saved them in a lump-sum.

A letter sent to The Gazette from an anonymous employee at SSE said that the cuts will affect 300 Basingstoke staff, who could lose between £1,000 and £15,000 per year, depending on their job roles.

It added: “Many of us that are affected have worked there between 15 and 30 years. They say they need to bring our salaries in line with everyone else, many of whom have been there for a short period of time. It is felt amongst those who are affected, that we are being discriminated against for being there a long time.

“Scottish and Southern Energy recently announced they are expecting profits of £1.5billion, then they go and do this to all their long-term fully committed staff.

“This will not help people paying their bills, which is already a struggle for most, and many have their mortgages based on their current salary which could mean they cannot afford to keep up the repayments.”

A spokesman for SSE refused to confirm or deny if the content of the letter was correct.

He added: “This was not a decision taken lightly by SSE and the trade unions, but it is being handled with sensitivity and respect and is ultimately about treating all staff fairly and consistently to ensure equality legislation is met.”

SSE is also looking at options to retrain staff who are at risk of having their salary cut.