Socialist Worker

Protest at Nottinghamshire council cuts

Issue No. 2081

Protesting at single status cuts in Nottinghamshire

Protesting at single status cuts in Nottinghamshire

Over 200 angry council workers held a protest against Nottinghamshire County Council’s pay cuts last week.

Workers are furious, with some losing up to £8,000 a year from their salaries. They handed in a petition with more than 2,000 signatures opposing the pay changes.

Many of those protesting were women who face pay cuts even though the move to single status is supposed to prevent gender pay discrimination.

Sue, a library assistant for 32 years, said, “The changes will really affect me. I will be on the same pay relatively as when I started here. We’ve developed to get better at our jobs only to be slammed back down to where we came from.”

Another worker said the changes would mean that she could not afford school dinners for her three children.

Peter Taylor of the Fair Pay Action Group said, “Of those workers losing out, 73 percent are women – some of them single mums with mortgages.”

Another worker said, “I am still reeling from the unfairness of the job evaluation – I’m to lose £6,000. I can’t believe that unions are happy to allow myself and 3,500 workers from the county council to take pay cuts of this magnitude. Aren’t unions supposed to represent all their members?”

Workers had voted to accept the deal but some workers are demanding a re-ballot. They say that many staff did not receive ballot papers at all.

They also claim that the 51 percent majority of Unison members in favour of the scheme was too small to be considered as a mandate.

They point out that a previous ballot on strike action had also returned a majority of 51 percent – but had been dismissed by Unison.

Unison is investigating the claims that the ballot was unfair with the findings to be announced on 20 December.

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