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  • "
    Maine Lobster wrote:
    Condor Man wrote:
    Let them strike, if staff aren't working to HSE regulations they should be sacked anyway. Staff are only stopping car use because the ridiculous allowances they were getting have been stopped and I really hope they stick to the 37 hours per week and accrue no flexitime. SCC needs to stop staff getting in at 7.30 every morning and claiming a day off for spending the first hour chatting.
    Once again the ignorance of you armchair critics is astounding. The "ridiculous allowances" you claim are in fact very modest and are for vehicles provided by staff to deliver Council services at a much cheaper rate than that done in the private sector for company car users, for example. Staff who use their cars are contractually required to do so for which their contract of employment agrees to pay them a monthly sum and mileage allowance. Providing a car enables the work to be done at a much more efficient rate than using public transport and at a much cheaper rate than using taxis, as was proved during an industrial dispute over the same issue in 2003. For this allowance, the employee has to make sure the vehicle is available for Council use through regular maintenance, insure it for business purposes at considerable additional cost and often employees have to take out finance to ensure the vehicle they provide will be reliable enough to get the job done. Having done all this, the Council then decides to breach the contract of employment and withdraw the allowance. That's fair and reasonable is it?
    Car users have to travel all over the city and sometimes outside of it to visit clients or city residents, often transporting people or equipment in the process. Others work outside of office hours on call out and need their vehicle then. The vehicles also often provide the means of a quick exit when various situations turn nasty. Think about that? Council employees get murdered on duty while visiting client's homes. Remember the care worker in Townhill Park? Had it not been for the ability to search for her car once she was identified as missing, her murder and the perpetrator may not have been aprehended.
    The car allowances paid are a part of a national agreement over terms and conditions. The breach of that agreement is what is fundamentally wrong, not those employees who have a right to expect to be paid their contracted terms. To top it all, the cuts in car allowances are in addition to the wages cuts being forced on staff so those employees are often on a cut in salary approaching 9% or 10%, not the "small pay cut" you often see printed as comment in the Daily Echo.
    As for your accusation against those who come in early, you ought to know that in many cases this enables them to do far more work in the first hour when the phones are not ringing than through the rest of the working day when the are continual conflicting demands. Many staff work far more hours than they can claim in flexi time so your ill informed and customary sniping over the people who serve this city really holds no credibility.
    no private sector employer would offer such benefits. Adding business use to car insurance doesn't cost that much and it's a legal prerequisite for all cars to be roadworthy. Also, not all SCC staff were entitled to essential car allowances so not all were benefitting.

    Also, if staff work 'over their hours' how come there's a mass exodus at 4pm?"
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Southampton City Council staff announce details of industrial action

Southampton Civic Centre

Southampton Civic Centre

First published in News

UNION members at Southampton City Council have announced they will begin indefinite industrial action this month.

As previously reported, members of Unison and Unite voted in favour of action in the face of wage cuts at the authority.

The action short-of-a-strike will include:

• Refusal to use private cars for Council work – this will include social workers, housing officers, environmental health officers.

• Ban on overtime working.

• Working to set hours. Not working unpaid hours.

• Working to contract / working to rule.

• Not covering for vacant posts.

• Working to strictly comply with Health and Safety regulations.

Furthermore, all union members are being called out on strike, for 'extended periods'.

The first section of staff to go out on strike will be the authority's refuse collectors. Other members of staff will join them at a later date.

UNISON Branch Secretary, Mike Tucker, said: “The industrial action will demonstrate that the council only functions because council workers work unpaid overtime, carry out duties they are not paid for and cover for jobs that have been cut.

"The selective strike action will mean key sections of the Council will be on strike for extended periods. It is council workers who keep the city running, not councillors.

"The industrial action we hope will bring the Conservative controlled Council back to the negotiating table. Only a negotiated settlement can avoid a summer of strikes and disruption.”

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