Socialist Worker

First stage of Coventry council workers' action over pay bites

Issue No. 2021

Schools admission workers striking in Coventry on Monday (Pic: Coventry Unison)

Schools admission workers striking in Coventry on Monday (Pic: Coventry Unison)

Workers in Coventry council began indefinite action over pay cuts on Monday.

Different groups of workers will come out on strike on different days.

The first group were ten schools admissions workers, who face losing a quarter of their pay under the single status pay agreement.

Neil Swatman, the communications officer for Coventry District Unison, the union that represents the workers, spoke to Socialist Worker about the strike.

He said, “The next group to come out will be the exchequer banking team, who are joining the action. This group does not stand to lose out under the deal.

“This is indefinite, ongoing action, and we will review it at each stage.

“The fact that small groups of workers are prepared to take action shows the strength of feeling over this issue.”

Single status is a national deal for council workers, but allows authorities significant leeway over how they implement the deal.

“This authority has been able to manipulate the grading process,” said Neil.

“We are probably one of the bigger authorities where they have attempted to impose a deal.”

The goal of the strike is to force the council to negotiate properly over pay.

But the council are attempting to link any negotiations to claims that are put in by the union under equal pay legislation.

“The council have only offered an average of about a year backpay for equal pay claims,” said Neil. “And these equal pay claims could take years to resolve.

“The council are trying to drag this issue into negotiations over single status - we are saying they are separate issues.”

The workers plan a mass balloon launch on Saturday. It will be held at 12 noon at Hearsall Common in Coventry.

For more information and to donate to the strike go

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Sat 7 Oct 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2021
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