UNISON press release
(30/01/08) Council workers in Birmingham will bring the city to a halt next Tuesday if their warnings over pay cuts remain unheeded by employers.
UNISON is urging council leaders to sit down around the table in a last-ditch attempt to avert strike action, but said the message had so far fallen on deaf ears.
The dispute is centred on a new pay and grading structure aimed at reducing wage inequalities, due to come into force on 1 April.
UNISON has rejected the plans as totally unacceptable. Some staff stand to lose up to half of their total pay.
Speaking at a protest rally in Birmingham earlier this month, UNISON deputy general secretary Keith Sonnet said: “There is no way that UNISON could tolerate the wholesale sacking of an entire workforce or the imposition of a new pay structure that does not deliver equal pay but ends with thousands losing thousands.”
West Midlands regional secretary Valerie Broom said: “Our members deserve better treatment and the people of Birmingham deserve better quality services.”
About 20,000 of the council’s 22,000-strong workforce have voted to take joint industrial action in protest at having the new contracts imposed on them without a collective agreement.
The first strike is planned for 5 February. Unions warned there would be no refuse collections, no school meals, no graves dug, and no meat tested, while all council offices would close their