Socialist Worker

Battles continue over single status deals

Issue No. 2042

Argyll & Bute

Irate council workers in Oban, Argyll, have said they want to strike over single status proposals which would cut their pay by thousands of pounds a year.

The Unison union is holding consultation meetings throughout the district to discuss the proposals with its 1,700 members at Argyll & Bute council.

One Oban council worker, who would lose more than £2,000 a year if the proposals go ahead, said, “We called for immediate industrial action but we have been told we can’t take it just now due to the consultation period.

“As far as we are concerned the only thing that is going to make an impact is if everyone went on strike.”

The worker added that staff affected by the pay cut plan would not vote for councillors who backed the move in May’s elections.

Donald Brown, chair of Unison’s Argyll & Bute council branch, said, “We had two consultation meetings in Oban on Friday of last week and our members there were screaming for industrial action.

“There were 180 people at the first meeting and the chair of the meeting asked for a show of hands for all those in favour of taking industrial action—180 put their hands up.

“When they were asked to vote for all out strike action 180 kept their hands in the air.”

The council has voted to proceed with consultation over pay proposals which would give almost half of the council’s staff a wage rise, while cutting the pay of 23 percent of employees.

It is mainly lower paid staff who will lose, with clerical workers who are paid under £13,000 a year standing to lose up to £3,000 a year.


Falkirk

Workers in the GMB and T&G unions at Falkirk council have suspended strike action over the implementation of single status for seven days.

An overtime ban which has been in place since last month has also been lifted.

The dispute kicked off at the end of last year when council chiefs imposed new contracts as part of its drive to achieve single status.

Around 10 percent of employees lose under the scheme.

There have already been two one-day strikes.


Shetland Islands

The single status pay deal in the Shetland Islands is in chaos.

Under the single status offer, made by the council two weeks ago, more than half of the workforce will lose out with many council workers in line for a 30 to 45 percent drop in their salaries.

More than 400 Unison members showed their anger and disgust with the council’s pay offer yesterday lunchtime when they attended the union’s annual general meeting.

Councillors attempted to withdraw the proposal, but council chief executive Morgan Goodlad returned from holiday to dismiss suggestions that the authority could renegotiate the single status deal.


Birmingham

A mass meeting involving thousands of workers was due to take place in Birmingham this week.

Check this site for updates


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Article information

News
Sat 17 Mar 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2042
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