Birmingham Council workers to strike against pay cuts

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

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