Socialist Worker

Single status revolt in Greenwich

Issue No. 2045

Council workers in Greenwich, south east London, lobbied the council over single status last week

Council workers in Greenwich, south east London, lobbied the council over single status last week

Greenwich council in south east London has announced plans to slash wages and annual leave under the guise of a single status deal.

The Labour-run council wrote to all workers at home to tell them this was a good offer and that it was going to ballot staff.

Since then over 600 have attended a Unison union meeting, and there were two joint union lobbies of the council last week which each had over 100 people on them.

There are union posters everywhere opposing this single status deal and there are meetings taking place to look at what we do next.

Most people think we have to take strike action if the council doesn’t back down, and everyone is ready to build a huge no vote in the management ballot.

The angry reaction of staff has forced the council to make some concessions.

But the current plans will still see some people losing hundreds of pounds a month.

There are also cuts to annual leave, late night and weekend shift allowances – and various ways of worsening our working conditions including split shifts.

The council wants to cut car allowances for staff (allegedly to protect the environment) but has recently given all councillors free car parking passes for all council car parks.

Chief officers and some councillors have just given themselves £18,000-£20,000 pay rises.

They justified this in the staff magazine by saying that they aren’t covered by single status and that it brings them in line with the going rate for the job.

Greenwich council worker

Shetland Islands council has suspended its single status pay offer after it was rejected by two union ballots.

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