Socialist Worker

Fighting single status cuts in local government wages

by Tony Walker
Issue No. 2090

Protesting in Leeds last week (Pic: Tony Walker)

Protesting in Leeds last week (Pic: Tony Walker)

Over 50 angry and worried GMB union members, demonstrated outside Leeds Civic Hall on Wednesday of last week. The union wanted to lobby the council meeting, to show its opposition to pay cuts of up to £6,000 a year included in the council’s single status deal.

Bill Chard of the GMB union said, “Low paid women should have been equalised upwards relative to men, but what they’ve tried to do is level downwards.

“The women remain low paid and men stand to lose up to £6,000 a year.

“Obviously, this is unacceptable – people are so worried about the future.

“The council have made a promise to spread the changes over three years. We’ve had broken promises in the past, so there’s no reason why I should believe them now.

“We face a situation where it’s possible the council may just try and impose it.

“If they do, we’ll ballot our members in strategic places.

“When we first started consulting, we were thinking we wouldn’t be in a position to go out strongly enough to recommend rejection. But after speaking to people, we found they were saying positive things.

“Then our vote, on quite a high turn out, was two to one to reject, so we knew people were up for it.”

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