Strike threat over pay cut for 4,000 council staff

Sheffield Council strike
Sheffield Council strike
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Sheffield Council workers are to be balloted for strike action over pay changes which could leave more than 4,000 worse off.

Trade unions are furious about proposals to save £5 million a year – just three years after a pay and grading reorganisation also led to some pay cuts.

Rod Padley, branch secretary for Unison

Rod Padley, branch secretary for Unison

The Town Hall’s biggest union, Unison, is organising a meeting in the Library Theatre at 5pm tomorrow for hundreds of its members to discuss the plans.

Proposals involve ‘standardising’ pay grades across the council from 50 to 11 rates for staff below senior officer level, and 32 to seven for director grades.

Unison says more than 4,000 staff could take a pay cut while just 1,500 would receive a rise. Branch secretary Rod Padley said staff getting a raise would have received the money anyway under incremental pay rises which are being scrapped.

Mr Padley added: “Workers could lose between two and nearly nine per cent of their salary – the maximum cut is equal to £2,822 a year.”

As well as pay changes, the council is negotiating on reducing benefits such as extra pay for unsocial hours, overtime and sickness.

Mr Padley said: “Staff have not had a pay rise for three years and this comes after some lost out under the review in 2010.

“We will be balloting for industrial action.”

Housing staff are to have their grades reviewed separately because they have just transferred from former management company Sheffield Homes.

Schools, meanwhile set their own wages for non-teaching staff and teachers’ pay is agreed nationally.

Julie Toner, Sheffield Council’s head of human resources, said: “This moves away from a pay structure based on incremental progression which has been seen by some as unfair. We want to create a structure which is not only fair but sustainable and affordable.”