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  • "Well just heard SEE are putting up electricity & gas prices by 9% included in that is £200 standing charge?
    I have just had Solar panels installed & before them I was only using £200 a year in electric & £300 gas which I know will decrease considerably now I have the panels so don't know how they'll get standing charge of £200 from a nine percent increase?
    But if this council are going to try to spend,spend & get the money solely from council tax ( we'll hear in November) what a rise that will be on top of the power increases & the Petrol increases.
    I wonder the level of defaulters of payment of tax will be?
    It would be political suicide to raise taxes now.
    If the money was there with no need for job cuts or cuts to services or raising of tax do you not think the Tories would have not used it? do you think they wanted out of power?
    people have to get real & ask themselves where's all this money coming from? job cuts? council tax rises? cuts to refuse service? or cuts to all services?
    If it was such a great achievement why aren't the union supporters & Labour supporters not on here celebrating?"
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Deal to restore council pay cuts revealed

Deal to restore council pay cuts revealed

Deal to restore council pay cuts revealed

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Politics and business reporter

THOUSANDS of council workers in Southampton will have their pay restored under a proposed deal to end a long running industrial dispute that saw rotting rubbish litter the streets last summer.

But the move will see thousands lose compensation, which opposition Tories say was promised by unions in legal claims against the council.

Union leaders are urging members to accept the “breakthrough” proposal in a postal vote starting next month.

It follows weeks of negotiations with Labour council leaders, who promised to restore staff pay cuts of between two and 5.5 per cent brought in last July by the Conservatives.

The Conservatives last night questioned how the deal will be funded and warned it would cost jobs.

Under the new plan all 2,143 council workers earning between £17,501 and £35,000 a year will see pay fully restored by April 2014.

The 865 staff earning between £17,501 and £22,000 will have a two per cent pay cut reversed in November.

Some 396 higher earners on £35,001 to £65,000 would get a 1.8 per cent cut restored from April 2014, with the remainder dependent on savings to be found.

Unions said no job losses are linked to the deal, which will cost the council £2.3m with a further £500,000 to be found from a staff suggestion scheme.

Senior managers and top executives on over £65,000 will not see pay restored until after April 2014 - unless the savings are found.

Unions would in return withdraw a legal action for up to £12m in compensation for the 4,000 staff they claim were not properly consulted over the council's plan to dismiss them if they did not sign up to worse contracts.

And union legal support for around 1,000 individual unfair dismissal claims would also be dropped.

Council staff had been told they could be awarded up to three months salary each in compensation and Tory chiefs had set aside hundreds of thousands of pounds to pay for the claims, fearing they would lose.

Some additional holidays given to staff as part of the pay cuts package would also now be withdrawn.

Unison branch secretary Mike Tucker said the proposed deal showed the previous Tory administration didn't need to cut pay to save services.

“Council workers can now concentrate on providing first class services to the people of Southampton ,” he said.

Unite convenor Mark Wood added: “This breakthrough marks a substantial change in culture.”

Cabinet member for resources Councillor Simon Letts said: “The deal we have put together with the unions will be a real boost for morale and staff retention and shows just what can be achieved when councils are prepared to engage with their staff.”

Conservatives brought in cuts to staff pay, terms and conditions last July in a bid to make budget cuts and protect 400 jobs.

Group leader Royston Smith said: “It is very underhand to present this as good news to staff and ask them to vote on it, then a month later reveal to them exactly what it costs to pay for it in lost jobs and services.”

A postal ballot of union members will be held between September 14 and October 5.

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