Southampton council workers have voted overwhelmingly to accept a deal to end the long running dispute over pay cuts imposed by the previous Conservative leadership of the city council.
Under the deal, those earning between £17,000 and £22,000 (full time equivalent) will see their pay restored in November. Those earning between £22,000 and £35,000 will see their pay restored in three installments between November 2012 and April 2014. Those earning over £35,000 will have to wait until 2015 for their pay to be fully restored. Those earning less than £17,000 will receive an increment payment backdated to May 2011. Council workers made redundant as a result of the 2011/12 council budget will receive a one off compensation payment..
In return for the settlement, Unison and Unite will withdraw all legal action against the council and call off ongoing industrial action.
In the secret postal ballot, Unison members voted eight to one to accept the proposals on a 43 per cent turnout and Unite members voted four to one on a 35 per cent turnout to accept the proposals.
The detailed result was:
Unison : To Accept 574 To Reject 72
Unite: To Accept 225 To Reject 51
Unison branch secretary Mike Tucker commented: “Unison members have voted by a large majority to accept this settlement because it restores that pay which was cut by the previous Conservative administration. It was the Conservatives who acted unlawfully in cutting our pay as part of their desperate attempt to stay in control of the council. Council workers now face savage job cuts being forced on the council by the actions of the coalition government in reducing funding. Once again it is the Conservatives, this time at a national level, that are hitting council services and jobs.”
Mark Wood, Unite Convenor, commented: “This overwhelming endorsement brings to an end a most unfortunate episode in employee relations at Southampton city council, caused by a Conservative administration intent only on slash and burn. It is not however the end of Tory attacks on essential local services, with further and substantial government spending cuts just around the corner; we must unite against a failing Con-Dem austerity agenda, starting with major demonstrations in London on 20 October and fight for a future that works.”
For more information contact:
Andy Straker, Unison area organiser on 07939 143 180
Ian Woodland, Unite regional industrial organiser on 07770 704 480
Mark Wood, Unite convenor on 07918 673 741