Page last updated at 21:45 GMT, Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Union in legal move on pay review

Sheffield Town Hall
The council says negotiations with the unions are still ongoing

Union members at Sheffield City Council are to mount a legal challenge to the authority over its plan to implement a salary regrading scheme.

Unison said up to 500 people would lose 19% of their salary under the new system, with 1,500 losing more than 5% and 80 set to lose 10,000 or more.

The council's chief executive John Mothersole said they were working with the unions for a collective agreement.

He said Unison had not lodged any formal dispute with them on the issue.

Unison has told its members not to sign any documents from the council relating to their salaries.

'Huge undertaking'

Regional organiser Kevin Osborne accused the authority of refusing to provide adequate information to staff about the effect on their incomes of the pay and grading review.

"Unison is preparing a legal challenge to the methods used by the council and their consultants," he said.

"We believe the job evaluation and the inadequate appeals process are fundamentally flawed."

But Mr Mothersole said: "This review is a huge undertaking and throughout its progress we have been working with the trade unions.

"Those negotiations are continuing and they include the development of terms and conditions.

"We have shared with the unions detailed information about the outcomes of the review for their members and we have offered them training in the council's job allocation process, which is a well-used and recognised pay review approach.

"Over 80% of staff have had no change to their pay or have had their pay increase. Less than 20% are receiving a pay cut."

Mr Mothersole pledged that there would also be a period of pay protection.

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