Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Pay cut for 25% of council staff

Swindon Borough Council
Council pay cuts will not come into force until April 2011

Nearly a quarter of council staff in Swindon face a pay cut as part of a job restructuring scheme costing £3.6m.

A similar number will see their wages increased as part of a review to ensure that all female staff are on equal pay with their male colleagues.

A Swindon Borough Council spokeswoman said it was important that the issue of pay was on a "level playing field". Some staff will lose thousands a year.

But union Unison said each job should have been evaluated individually.

'Invented system'

Spokesman Chris Howe said it was trying to work with the council about a year ago on how to achieve a fair pay system.

"When the council realised what a mess they were in historically, and how much it would potentially cost to get it absolutely right, they just walked away and invented their own pay system.

"That's really what our complaints are [about].

"What should have happened is that every job should have been evaluated," he added.

Letters describing the new structure will be sent out in January 2010.

Those eligible for the increase will get it from April 2010.

'A few thousand'

Those facing cuts will have the immediate effect of this cushioned until April 2011 - at a cost to the council of £3.6m.

Deputy leader Councillor Fionuala Foley said: "Some people will see a difference of a couple of hundred pounds and [for] some it's quite a few thousand.

"I'm not going to go into which types of jobs because most people don't know yet.

"It's all still being evaluated and the letters go out in January.

"It should be equal pay, more importantly it should be a level playing field," she added.

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