The 3,000 staff at Medway Council could lose thousands of pounds in pay, if the Tory-controlled authority arbitrarily drives through a new pay system.
Unite, the country’s largest union, is concerned that if the council refuses to negotiate the workforce will be sacked and then re-engaged with reduced pay and employment conditions.
Unite believes that the ultimate aim behind the new pay and grading structure is to cut the council’s budget, with the long-term adverse impact on council services.
Unite regional officer Ian Methven said: “Any organisation’s greatest asset is its staff. What the council is attempting to do is to cut costs and in the long term there won’t be enough staff to provide all the services that the council currently provides to the public of Chatham, Gillingham and Rochester.
“Medway’s hardline council would like to implement the new pay and grading structure now and then discuss the pay progression policy and appeals procedure later. This is clearly not acceptable to the unions or their members.
“The council, which wants to introduce the new pay system from April, is not following the proper negotiating procedures and running roughshod over the staff – some of our members could lose £2,000 a year.
“They can’t afford to lose this sum as the cost of living crisis continues unabated with household bills going through the roof.
“We want the council to sit down and negotiate with the staff side unions in a mature and sensible fashion.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
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.