Page last updated at 10:11 GMT, Wednesday, 18 June 2008 11:11 UK

Union opposes council wage cuts

A proposed salary scheme for Nottingham City Council workers means more than 1,400 staff will face a pay cut.

Unison, the trade union that represents many of the workers, said it would not accept the wage cuts.

About 8,000 council employees will be affected as the local authority tries to meet the terms of the new national system for equal pay.

The council said it was legally and financially obliged to implement the single status system.

100m cost

The council has already had to settle 2,559 potential claims from individual staff wanting equal pay.

And there are 235 employment tribunal claims already lodged with the council and 596 grievances are in the process of being heard.

Overall, 80% of staff will either see no change in their base pay or an increase in their base pay
Ben Brown, Nottingham City Council

Ben Brown, the council's human resources director, said if there were no pay cuts, it would cost the council "way in excess of 100m" which would affect the council tax-payer.

A new job evaluation scheme has been put in place which "will be fair, legally compliant, and we can defend ourselves in the employment tribunal," he said.

But Jean Thorpe from the Nottingham Branch of Unison, which represents many of the city council staff, said the wages should have been "levelled up".

She said pay cuts would result in a divided workforce, low morale and motivation, industrial unrest, experienced employees leaving their jobs and "disaster for delivery of council services".

She said strike action was possible if it was deemed "necessary" by Unison members, since their approach was "equal pay now but no pay cuts".

Mr Brown said: "Overall, 80% of staff will either see no change in their base pay or an increase in their base pay."

He said the council acknowledged the "detrimental impact" on those who will loose money, but a protection scheme would be put in place, "so for three years no one will have any change in their base pay".

Workers attack union for pay deal
14 Feb 08 |  Nottinghamshire
Protest at council pay cut plans
07 Jan 08 |  Leicestershire

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