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Sheffield Council Strike Action Looms

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http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/Sheffield-Co...ooms.5629781.jp

UNIONS representing 13,500 council workers are considering industrial action after final talks with Sheffield Council yesterday failed to deliver a last-minute agreement on pay.

In just over two weeks' time the council will distribute letters telling workers whether they are one of nearly 2,500 staff - 18 per cent of those reviewed - whose salary will be slashed.

A quarter will receive increased pay, while the salaries of 57 per cent will stay the same.

The three unions - GMB, Unison and Unite - failed to secure an agreement on pay protection, after months of negotiations ground to a halt.

Unison regional officer Kevin Osborne said: "We are not ruling out the possibility of industrial action. The council has moved on some minor issues, notably on the matter of the appeals process, but has not moved nearly enough." Sheffield GMB officer Peter Davies said: "The council can call this review what they want - they can wrap it up in a pink ribbon and call it equality restructuring.

"But if you are a street cleaner who is going to lose £4,000 a year this is a devastating blow.

"We will be calling for our members to reject this offer and get the council back around the table."

Sheffield Council deputy leader David Baker said: "The whole point is to modernise how we pay our staff so we remove inconsistent or old fashioned pay elements, giving a clearer and fairer system.

"Taxpayers are not an endless source of money and a fair yet affordable outcome has been our aim.

"We appreciate the equal pay review is concerning to staff and we want to reassure them we will continue to work with individuals who would face the most significant pay cuts."

The council will send letters to all staff from September 25 telling them whether their pay has been cut. They will have five weeks to accept. If staff turn down the offer their contracts will be terminated next April and reoffered with new terms and conditions.

The new pay structure - which will cost the council about £6 million in the first year - comes in response to government requirements for a more standardised pay structure.

What's the betting most of those to take pay cuts are the lowest paid? Whilst diversity outreach equality officers get to stay on the same salary?

I bet Sheffield Council doesn't release the stats on which bands / jobs have seen the most cuts.

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What's the betting most of those to take pay cuts are the lowest paid?

They have no choice, they are gripped with fear. If the highest earners don't award themselves more money they might leave.

You also have to compare the top earner's pay with the same level of worker in other industries and then it is obvious that they should be paid more.

Edited by Redhat Sly

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http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/Sheffield-Co...ooms.5629781.jp

What's the betting most of those to take pay cuts are the lowest paid? Whilst diversity outreach equality officers get to stay on the same salary?

I bet Sheffield Council doesn't release the stats on which bands / jobs have seen the most cuts.

Well that is how single status works (more responsibility, even if its fake = more pay).

However this is half the unions fault. single status has been around for 15 years and some councils implemented when it should have been done over 12 years ago. If they had implemented it then, no one would have needed pay cuts to solve the problem.

Its the council's and union's fault here.

Edited by eek

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As I read it some employees are going to get pay cuts and some rises. If this is tied to productivity then this is a good thing.

The council worker that sweeps more roads than the average council sweeper sweeps gets a pay rise and the council worker that sweeps less than the average gets a pay cut.

Sheffield Council may just have had a revolutionaty thought in the public sector, that paying the hard workers more than the workshy may well improve the productivity of the whole council because as opposed to the past where the unions got them a guaranteed pay rise irrespective of whether they worked hard or not, now if they want a pay rise they will have to earn it on thier own merit.

Top marks to Sheffield Council for not following the public sector mentality and taking on the unions.

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Female? Management? Likely winners.

Male? Manual? Likely picketers.

Council Workers and Equal Pay

The use of different pay scales within councils has contributed to inequality of pay.

Since the late 1990s many council pay structures have caused unequal pay between men and women.

For example, bonus schemes for refuse collectors (mainly men) agreed many years ago meant that they were taking home 50% more in their pay packets than women doing different jobs of a similar level of skill such as care or catering staff.

Councils were also using different pay scales for different job sectors such as the manual or administrative sectors. This meant that jobs were not being judged on the same basis, and, along with other factors, often resulted in female dominated roles being lower paid.

The Single Status Agreement

In 1997 the Single Status Agreement was made between local government and trade unions to streamline all pay scales into one. ‘Single Status’ refers to this one pay scale.

The process to make good on the Single Status Agreement is (in theory!) to be completed by July 2007.

The Gender Equality Duty

April 2007 saw the introduction of a Gender Equality Duty which affects all public authorities and therefore includes local councils. It places a responsibility on authorities to ensure gender equality and the elimination of sex discrimination. For more details please see 'New Gender Equality Duty Introduced'.

Job Evaluation

To get all workers onto the same pay scale for the purposes of Single Status, councils have to evaluate every job type by the same set of factors to establish which jobs should be regarded as at the same level as each other and therefore should receive the same rate of pay.

A specially trained ‘job evaluator’ will be employed to do this. They will use one of the ‘Job Evaluation Schemes’ such as the Hay Scheme or the GLPC scheme.

Possible factors used to evaluate job roles:

* knowledge and skills required

* contacts and communications

* problem solving

* decision making

* autonomy

* management of resources

* impact

After Job Evaluation – a new Pay Scale

Once all jobs have been evaluated you could find that your job is considered to be of the same value as a job which has traditionally paid more. If this occurs you will be entitled to the new higher rate of pay.

In most cases, it is the female dominated jobs that are found to have been underpaid.

If the job evaluation shows that your job has been lower paid than it should have been, and this is due to gender, then you will be able to claim compensation from the Council, including back pay for the last six years and an increase in pay.

If the Council sends you a letter offering an increase in pay or a lump sum you should seek independent legal advice before you accept as you will be asked to sign away any rights to equal pay. You may be entitled to more than you are being offered.

http://www.supportequalpay.co.uk/CouncilWorkers.aspx

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20 years from now, someone will make a film about it. The brave bin inspector pretending to go to work each day, his unsuspecting wife still shopping like there's no tomorrow.

:lol:

or the road pothole inspector who goes to worldwide conferences on how to roll tarmac. He returns to the UK only to pick up expenses. :rolleyes:

The Romans built better roads than we have today. 2009 and the councils of the UK are still useless. Shock!! :blink:

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As I read it some employees are going to get pay cuts and some rises. If this is tied to productivity then this is a good thing.

Top marks to Sheffield Council for not following the public sector mentality and taking on the unions.

no its tied to the typical public sector mentality of leaving something not done as eventually it will solve itself. This is all about single status pay which should have been implemented in 1997 (and if it had been done would have been done with 0 pain for anyone).

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I'm more concerned that a quarter are going to recieve a pay increase!!! What for?

Shame I can't go on strike with my council tax payments.

If the ones receiving a pay cut don't like it, they can quit and get one of those highly paid jobs in the private sector with the fantastic pension, generous sickness and holiday benefits that seem to be everywhere at the moment.

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When I worked in local Government I was given a pay cut from £20k to £17k within 4 weeks of joining as their had been an "appraisal" of my job whilst it was vacant and it was deemed to be overpaid.

I had the right to appeal, which I did, and I eventually got a pay rise to £22k. Only 1 of the 20 or so staff who appealed didn't win and it must have cost tens of thousands in management time etc to set up the process.

Incidentally my wife works for the Medical Research Council, the technology she has helped develop brings in millions to the UK each year through licensing arrangements....her pay rise for the last 3 years has been 1% and this year they have been given a one off payment of £400 instead. People in her section who have made discoveries that will save lives and make huge amounts of money for the country earn less than the middle managers in most council accountancy departments.

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Incidentally my wife works for the Medical Research Council, the technology she has helped develop brings in millions to the UK each year through licensing arrangements....her pay rise for the last 3 years has been 1% and this year they have been given a one off payment of £400 instead. People in her section who have made discoveries that will save lives and make huge amounts of money for the country earn less than the middle managers in most council accountancy departments.

Yebbut she's not a manager or even a marketer. So she must be just a junior employee on the way to a proper job.

Or a failure, if she's older than twentysomething and still doing real work.

That's how UK plc works. Glad I work for a non-UK company.

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The people receiving pay rises will be women. Those receiving cuts will be men.

It's because under the equality laws, women can't be paid less than men.

So they average it all out, raise some womens salaries, cut the mens salaries. They can't just raise womens salaries as to do so would be too expensive, it easier to adjust the averages by cutting some mens salaries. No relation what-so-ever to the nature or complexity of the work involved. They aren't comparing similar jobs, just numbers.

The same thing is happening in Leeds... striks there too.

I think many council are about to go through all this. Expect a huge nationwide wave of council strikes, followed by the government banning civil servants from striking. Followed by walkouts, mass-sickies and riots.

Probably a good time to buy a garden incenerator. About £30 form B&Q.

An interesting question is about this threat to sack them if they don't take a pay cut and force them to re-apply for their jobs at a lower wage. I'm pretty sure that's constructive dismissal.

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The concept behind this was equal pay for work of equal value.

But some councils used it simply to try to cut staff pay costs.

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Err right. They're going on strike, so no :

Traffic wardens

Outreach supervisors

Bin inspections.

People to sit around all day drinking tea and reading the sun and not fixing the potholes in the road.

Useless manangement types having 20 hour meetings.

How will I survive without them ?

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How will I survive without them ?

How about a Council Tax Survival Officer, c45k p.a. +car.

Job Description: To help people survive ever increasing council taxes coupled with ever decreasing services.

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