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Coventry council workers fight back in single status dispute

Issue No. 1952

Thousands of council workers in the Unison and T&G unions at Coventry City Council were set to strike on Thursday this week in a dispute over pay. This will be followed by a

two-day stoppage on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.

The row revolves around the implementation of “single status”, a national agreement designed to harmonise conditions between white and blue collar workers, thereby reducing the pay gap between men and women.

Workers are angry that the Tory-run council has imposed an implementation of single status that penalises many of them. Refuse workers have led the fight, with two wildcat strikes so far.

“We think there will be around 2,000 losers,” says Sarah Ferguson from Coventry Unison. “There are at least 1,500 that are actually losing money under the deal, anywhere between £1,000 and £8,000 a year.”

Many of the losers under the deal will be among the lowest paid in the council, she adds, including refuse collection workers and cleaners. A lot of the losers are the very low paid women that single status was meant to help out.

“The Tory council imposed a deal on us on 8 February,” adds Sarah Ferguson. “The council is refusing to stump up money to ensure there are no losers under single status.

“Though we do believe that national government should be funding this pay deal, not asking local authories to pay for it.”

Messages of support should be sent to Coventry Unison, Koco Building, The Arches, Spon End, Coventry CV1 3JQ. Call 024 7667 9475 or go to

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Sat 21 May 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1952
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