Socialist Worker

Local government bosses forced into talks

Issue No. 2092

Negotiations between unions and Birmingham council bosses over the imposition of a single status pay deal were continuing as Socialist Worker went to press.

Single status deals were supposed to bring equal pay for low paid women. Instead thousands of council workers, including many women, face pay cuts.

The original Birmingham plan would mean 110 women losing more than £10,000 a year, and across the council there are twice as many women as men facing pay cuts.

The council was forced into talks about a new deal following strike action last month.

The unions are determined to make the council keep to the promise made two weeks ago to look seriously at the job evaluations that recommended so many pay cuts.

The key demand of the unions is that the council put aside more money to fund the deal.

The council is reluctant to give in, having spent 18 months refusing to seriously negotiate, while attempting to force through a rotten deal.

Only strike action has forced them to the negotiating table.

If the council doesn’t fulfil its promises, renewed action in the run-up to May’s local elections would help sharpen its focus.

Workers at Aberdeen council in the Unite and GMB unions have voted to reject their latest single status pay offer. The Unison union has yet to ballot its members at the council.

About 2,000 workers at Plymouth council face wage cuts as part of their council’s single status deal.

Some workers say that they stand to lose up to 20 percent of their pay.

One, who is due to have her second child in April and is currently on maternity leave, has had her salary cut by £7,606 a year.

She will lose most of that money immediately, as she was upgraded unofficially two years ago and now her “acting up” pay is to be removed.

Unions at the council are set to ballot on the deal.

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Tue 11 Mar 2008, 18:08 GMT
Issue No. 2092
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