RELENTLESS work between two MPs and trade unions has seen the resolution of the long running industrial dispute at the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) in Aldermaston and Burghfield.

As previously reported by The Gazette staff at both sites held numerous walk outs over disputes replace the current defined benefit pension scheme with a defined contribution alternative that is worse than the scheme currently available to staff.

The strikes date back to November 2016, however a settlement has now been agreed between the MoD site and unions Unite and Prospects.

The comprehensive settlement offered by AWE after negotiations comprises a pay offer of a three-year four per cent rise in basic pay, revised High Hazard Allowances and overtime rates for all staff.

The result comes following several meetings held between North West Hampshire MP Kit Malthouse, Newbury MP Richard Benyon and representatives from the unions.

Both MPs relentlessly pressed government ministers and officials at the MoD, including Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, in multiple meetings and by letter, with Mr Malthouse even raising the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, calling on the Government to keep promises made during privatisation to people who had ‘devoted their entire working lives tending our nuclear defence’.

Mr Malthouse said: “AWE is the lynch pin of our ultimate national defence, a major employer in the area and a vital depository of atomic knowledge and research that keeps the UK at the cutting edge of the global science.

“This is great news and I am pleased that AWE have made an offer that the highly skilled scientists, engineers, safety and nuclear workers at the company can accept.”

AWE is responsible for the design, manufacture and support of warheads for the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent and carries out testing, research and nuclear decommissioning work.

It has been in private management since 1993 and with the current consortium since 2000. All the sites however are owned by the UK Government who also hold a golden share in AWE plc.