Sheffield Council faces industrial action over pay dispute

Sheffield Council faces strike action after unions failed to reach an agreement on pay.

On 25 September, the council will distribute letters telling staff whether their salaries will be cut, as part of an equal pay review that all councils are undertaking.

Unions claim that 18% of those reviewed – nearly 2,500 staff – will have thier salaries reduced, while 25% will receive increased pay. The majority (57%) of staff’s pay will stay the same.

But after months of negotiations ground to a halt, GMB, Unison and Unite could not secure pay protection for affected employees, local paper the Star has reported.

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 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.”

Staff will have five weeks to accept the new pay structure. Their contracts will be terminated next April and reoffered with new terms and conditions.

Elsewhere, the Bradford Telegraph & Arugs reported that union bosses representing workers at Bradford Council were preparing for a meeting this Thursday over plans to scrap bonus payments for hundreds of employees.

Legal notices served to more than 600 Council workers last week, proposing changes to their contracts, were made under equal pay legislation.

Last month, Personnel Today reported that council HR chiefs were urged to take swift action to prevent disputes over equal pay ending up at tribunal with no-win no-fee lawyers.

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