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Unions agree settlement with Southampton City Council
1:22pm Friday 5th October 2012 in Politics
UNION members at Southampton City Council have voted overwhelmingly to accept a deal to end a long-running pay dispute.
As part of the agreement, staff who earn a full-time equivalent wage between £17-22,000 per annum will have their pay restored to pre-pay cut levels in November.
Those earning up to £35,000 a year will have their pay restored in three installments by April 2014 and those earning over £35,000 will have their salary returned to previous levels in 2015.
Those earning less than £17,000 a year will receive an increment payment backdated to May 2011. Council workers made redundant as a result of the 2011/12 city council budget will receive a one off compensation payment.
As their side of the deal, the two unions, UNISON and Unite, will withdraw all legal action against the city council. They will also call off ongoing industrial action.
In the secret postal ballot, UNISON members voted eight to one to accept the proposals on a 43% turnout and Unite members voted four to one on a 35% turnout to accept the proposals.
UNISON Branch Secretary Mike Tucker, said: “UNISON members have voted by a large majority to accept this settlement because it restores that pay which was cut by the previous Conservative administration.
"It was the Conservatives who acted unlawfully in cutting our pay as part of their desperate attempt to stay in control of the Council. Council workers now face savage job cuts being forced on the Council by the actions of the Coalition Government in reducing funding.
"Once again it is the Conservatives, this time at a national level, that are hitting Council services and jobs.”
Mark Wood, Unite Convenor, said: “This overwhelming endorsement brings to an end a most unfortunate episode in employee relations at Southampton City Council, caused by a Conservative administration intent only on slash and burn.
"However, it is not the end of Tory attacks on essential local services, with further and substantial government spending cuts just around the corner; we must UNITE against a failing Con-Dem austerity agenda, starting with major demonstrations in London on 20th October and fight for a future that works”