Customer service assistants employed by Sandwell council have secured a substantial wage rise after the council backed down in a pay dispute over job grading.

The 14 members of Unite were due to begin industrial action, resulting in major disruption to council services, on Friday 10 May.

The dispute was a result of a botched job evaluation process that did not take into account the work the customer service assistants undertook.

Industrial action called off

However the industrial action has now been called off after Sandwell council made a suitable offer to members that resolve their concerns. The workers have been re-graded as of today (1 May). The re-grading means that the workers who earn between £19,000 - £20,000 a year will eventually see their pay increase by £5,000 per annum.

Sandwell seen reason

Unite regional officer Brian Rickers said: “I am pleased that Sandwell council has seen reason and realised that its customer care assistants were being treated unfairly.

“Unite was adamant that this dispute could be resolved by negotiation and that has indeed proved to be the case.

“Sandwell’s customer care assistants who are the public face of the council will now be paid appropriately for the work they undertake.

“I would like to pay tribute to the commitment of the affected workers who despite their small numbers, through their solidarity, were able to stand up to the council and secure wage justice.”


Notes to editors:

Members of Unison were also affected by the job grading exercise and were also preparing to take industrial action.

Sandwell council staff to begin industrial action in pay dispute

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.