The ball is firmly in Birmingham city council’s court said Britain’s largest union, Unite following reports of today’s (Friday 15 September) meeting between the interim leader of Birmingham city council, councillor Ian Ward and the city’s nine Labour MPs to discuss the Birmingham bin strike.
Commenting Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: “There is an Acas agreement in place and Unite remains confident that the courts will uphold that agreement on Monday and agree with us that it was entered into with the full knowledge of the cabinet and officers.
“Birmingham city council chief executive Stella Manzie has repeatedly claimed, without supplying any evidence, that the grade 3 leading hands retaining safety and maintaining their grade exposes the council to equal pay litigation.
“We have repeatedly said that our legal team is willing to meet the council’s legal team to prove that there are no such equal pay risks.
“The council initially agreed to this meeting only for Stella Manzie to twice block such meetings taking place and for the council to refuse to provide copies of the claimed legal advice it has and stop any such meeting to take place at Acas.
“If the MPs have managed to persuade the council leaders to allow the lawyers to meet at Acas regardless of the position of Stella Manzie, then that is to be welcomed. We will make our legal team available. There must of course be a full and open disclosure by the council for such a meeting to be meaningful.
“The ball is firmly in the council’s court.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.