Unions say 1,000 council employees face another year of pay cuts by flagship Tory-led council, which are sucking life from the local economy


On the one year anniversary of the start of a landmark dispute between Unite, UNISON and Southampton City Council, workers have declared they are determined to continue to resist the council’s pay cuts.

1,000 council employees face another year of pay cuts, which unions believe are sucking power from the local economy.

Unite and UNISON – which staged a series of stoppages across different council departments during 2011, including refuse collection, social work and city port services – say they have no option but to continue the dispute with the Conservative-controlled council.

The unions presented council leader Royston Smith with an alternative plan which they say would have saved services, jobs and retained pay but forced the council to save income.

The proposals have not been accepted.

Unions have called a joint lobby of the Council meeting on 15th February.

They have also agreed to hold a further day of industrial action in April, to coincide with the opening of the £5 million Sea City Museum. Critics say say Royston Smith personally authorised spending on what they regard as a vanity project, for which council staff are being forced to pay with cuts to jobs and salaries.

Ian Woodland (below right, addressing a strike rally in Southampton) Unite regional officer said: “Unite views it as a disgrace that one year on, workers at Southampton City Council are having to continue their industrial action.

“This dispute is being driven by a political agenda as the Tories have wanted to attack our members’ terms and conditions ever since they won control of the council in 2008.

“Our members are united, angry and determined and have vowed to keep on fighting until the council sees sense. The council should not underestimate their willingness to protest against these unnecessary pay cuts.”

Mike Tucker, UNISON branch secretary said: “Whether introduced by Conservative or Labour Councils, UNISON members will not accept pay cuts.  While wasting millions on a museum the City does not need, Council workers have suffered savage pay cuts.

UNISON members will continue to take action until nationally agreed pay levels are restored.”

Watch our film report here from the height of the dispute last summer:

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