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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 19:50 GMT 20:50 UK
Pay cut plan under equality deal
Council sign
Council bosses said the deal was a positive move
Hundreds of workers at a Scottish local authority are facing salary cuts in order to meet equal pay legislation.

But Perth and Kinross Council said the move would be "positive" for the vast majority of employees, with pay increases in jobs mainly held by women.

The council has put the proposals to its workforce to gauge opinion.

The GMB Scotland union said that the planned changes were still at a very early stage, but did not appear to be "hugely contentious".

The council has drawn up new terms and conditions of employment for about 4,500 workers.

Under the proposals, about 17% would see pay cuts, although a quarter would receive immediate rises and seven out of ten employees would receive increases in the "longer term".

It is about removing inequality and delivering on our commitment to our employees
Bernadette Malone
chief executive, Perth and Kinross Council

Cooks and childcare workers are among those who would benefit.

Workers earmarked for reductions would see their pay levels protected for three years, during which time they would be given the opportunity to retrain.

The council promised that, if the proposals were accepted, there would be no job cuts and no impact on services.

Perth and Kinross Council chief executive Bernadette Malone said she was confident that the plan, drawn up under single status rules, would secure equality for employees.

"It is about removing inequality and delivering on our commitment to our employees," she said.

"We have worked closely with the trade unions and our employees, and I am pleased that we have now reached this stage."

GMB Scotland, along with the T&G and Unison unions, will look at the plans in more detail.

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