Medway Council postpones plans to introduce local pay for government workers

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Unions have six weeks to prevent a Kent council introducing local pay for its 3,500 employees.

Medway Council wanted to withdraw from the national pay agreement for local government staff but voted to postpone the decision to allow unions to make their case.

Unite regional officer Ian Methven said: “I welcome this decision. Our members have worked hard to deliver savings to the council’s budget over the last 12 months.

“It would be wrong for Medway Council employees to pay for the financial crisis that they did not cause. I look forward to meaningful and constructive consultations with the council.

“If we can’t get agreement during the next six-to-eight weeks, we will enter into the formal consultation stage of 90 days. If no agreement has been reached, the council will dismiss about 3,500 staff and re-engage them in June 2013 on contracts offering inferior pay, and terms and conditions. We would fight that course of action all the way.”

The Tory-controlled council covers Chatham, Gillingham and Rochester and employs such staff as those providing child protection, adult care, libraries, bin collection and weddings.

In a similar move, 20 NHS trusts in South West England have set up a regional pay cartel to leave the national pay agreement and drag down pay and conditions for health staff. A UNISON survey showed 97% of members opposed the scheme.

 


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