Birmingham City Council defends HR role in equal pay dispute

Under-fire Birmingham City Council has defended the role of its HR professionals in the ongoing equal pay dispute.

Albert Bore, leader of the opposition Labour party, said that staff were “very unhappy” with the department as they prepared to strike over pay cuts.

But a spokesman for the council told Personnel Today: “The HR team has set up many systems to assist staff and advise them through all parts of the review.

“As well as establishing counselling and financial advice services, they have also introduced a comprehensive communications strategy.”

The council admitted earlier this month that it was drawing up emergency plans to deal with strikes that have been threatened over its pay equalisation plans. More than 80 workers at the UK’s biggest local authority face pay cuts in excess of £16,000 per year.

Bore said: “People are very unhappy with how HR has dealt with this situation. They have not communicated well, and not followed up on staff queries. They have treated staff appallingly.”

But the council spokesman added: “We are surprised councillor Bore has formed this opinion as everyone involved in the implementation of the pay and grading review has worked very hard over many months to implement what is the largest change agenda seen within any similar public or private sector organisation in this country.”

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