Members of the GMB union working for Sunderland City Council have overwhelmingly voted to reject the council’s proposals to implement a single status agreement.
The union said under the council’s proposals, designed to eliminate sexual discrimination and implement equal pay, more than 3,000 employees would have had their pay reduced, in some case by up to 33%.
GMB regional official, Martin Gannon said: “Under the council’s proposals over 4,000 employees would have received substantial decreases. I’m delighted that our members have demonstrated to the council, in the best traditions of trade unionism, that equal pay should be about lifting people up – not about reducing the wages of others.”
He said the union now expected the council to come back to the negotiating table with a substantially improved offer.
“Failure by the council to fully recognise the depth of feeling expressed by our members could mean the union will have no alternative but to consult our members about industrial action,” Gannon warned.