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SALFORD COUNCIL TO IMPOSE WAGE CUTS AS UNIONS THREATEN WAR
 

Star date: 11th October 2012

`TAKE A PAY CUT OR YOU'RE SACKED!' – UNISON ACCUSES SALFORD COUNCIL OF `BULLY BOY TACTICS'

Salford Council is intending to cut its wage bill by 4.7% over the next five years and has told staff to accept wage cuts or be sacked. Under the proposals 58% of Salford Council staff will lose money by 2017/18, and employees have until 6th January 2013 to accept the offer or the Council will "revert to dismissal".

A mass meeting of UNISON members on Monday voted to ballot for strike action if the threats were not withdrawn, and today the union has called for a lobby of Labour Councillors on Monday. It looks like all out war is looming for the new Labour Mayor...

Full story here…


Almost 5000 Salford Council staff have until the 6th January to accept a new pay structure, within which 58% of employees will lose financially over the next five years – or be sacked.

A Salford Council Consultation Report: Pay and Grading Review repeats the threat twice, first stating that if it can't "secure a collective agreement" with trade unions, it will "ultimately revert to dismissal and offer of re-engagement where necessary"…

And again, later on in the report…

"In the event that the amendment to contract cannot be achieved via a collective agreement all affected employees will be issued with notice of dismissal from their current contract but will be offered immediate reengagement/employment on the revised terms."

In response, trade unions which represent Council employees - Salford City UNISON, GMB and UNITE the union - sent a circular to their members branding the Report "completely unacceptable" and accusing Salford Council of "bully boy tactics, especially from a Labour Council".

A mass meeting of over 200 UNISON members on Monday evening voted to "instigate an industrial action ballot of all UNISON members affected by these proposals" if the Council refused to withdraw the document and "lift the threat of dismissal notices".

The Council Report on wage cuts also proposes not to pay any increments due to employees next year, and completely omits top earners – those earning above Scale Point 49.

The Council intends to cut 4.7%, or £15million, off its wage bill by 2017/18
and intends to re-grade its employees into five `zones' or pay scales. Under the new pay scales, in the first year of its introduction, 2012/13, the Council states that 44% of staff will lose money while only 27% will gain. And, by 2017/18, 58% of staff will have lost, while only 20% will have gained (22% no change).

The furious unions - already subject to wage freezes and redundancies - state in their circular to members that… "Job evaluations were designed to address inequality - not as a means for councils to make cuts!"

At the end of last week, City Mayor, Ian Stewart, sent his own circular around to Salford Council employees, trying to put the blame on the trade unions for leaking the Report to its members… "I know that this has caused distress for many of you" he wrote, arguing that the Report was "intended to begin the consultation" and was "never intended to be the final structure for implementation".

Unfortunately, the Mayor has begun the consultation with two threats of sacking people if they don't accept the pay cuts. And the unions have responded with threats of strikes.

Ian Stewart, sponsored by trade unions and with much of his working life spent in trade union education, obviously hasn't learnt much - despite inventing the word `humanegement'. It's beginning to look like all out war between a Labour Mayor and his own workforce.

At 1pm today, UNISON, via Branch Secretary Steve North, circulated its members again…

"Please do not let them convince you that a pay cut will save your job" he states "These proposals will save a lot less money than we are lending to a rugby team! Where are the Council's priorities?

"The bottom line is that this is about a cut to the Pay Bill…it is stated clearly on Page 8 that under the new proposals 4.7% would be cut from the Pay Bill in the next five years (£15 million) and that this would involve an immediate 2.5% cut across the board in April next year. 44% of members earning under Scale Point 49 will lose money in the first year, with over half having lost it by the end of the third year."

Attacking the Mayor's argument that the pay cuts are actually about equal pay, North adds… "This is not about Equal Pay. For a start more women lose money than gain money. That is a smokescreen. It is about saving money from the wages of those who work hard to deliver the services the people of Salford rely upon.

"It will not save jobs" he adds "It will simply make life harder for those of us who already get up and go to work every day, despite more difficult conditions, increased work-loads and less colleagues."

Salford City UNISON has now called for a lobby of the Labour Group of councillors Against Attacks on Pay and Services on Monday 15th October 5pm-6:30pm at the Civic Centre.

And here's how the other half live...

• This year, Deputy Mayor, Councillor David Lancaster, almost doubled his pay packet to £44,850

• Assistant Mayors also got pay rises of over £3,500 when their roles were re-graded from Executive Support Members.

• Martin Vickers, Strategic Director for Customer and Support Services, saw his overall pay package rise from £104,124 in 2010/11 to £124,346 in 2011/12 – a rise of over £20,000.

• Barbara Spicer, Chief Executive of Salford Council received £211,607 – a rise of £1,215 thanks to an increase in employer pension payments. 

Update: 11th October 8pm

Salford Mayor in incredible, insensitive statement shock!!! Click here

Mary wrote
at 12:48:28 AM on Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Worked for Salford for over 25years, loyalty etc... Low paid, working hours each month without pay... Why I ask myself, when now I may get a pay cut. Stewart and Spicer?
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 9:52:45 AM on Monday, October 15, 2012
As a life long trade union member and of Unison I would never have cut the pay to low paid workers. It would have been a fight to the finish with those in Westminster that force such cuts. Salford Mayor has that choice in his hands. He can say no to low paid cuts and risk a real fight with this bad Tory Government instead of doing its dirty work. Each Labour voter that gave their trust in our Salford Mayor deserves to expect no less than protection of our vulnerable and of low paid people, otherwise I see our Labour Council being worse than pond scum. Their action is against my socialist belief as they prove to be politicians with no courage to stand up for all the Salford people they represent.
 
Val Broadbent wrote
at 11:40:58 AM on Sunday, October 14, 2012
Just over a month ago my son finished his 22 years service in the RAF... He is now homeless and jobless. What does the future hold for him and all the others like him?
 
whatsamattawiyoutony wrote
at 2:32:52 AM on Saturday, October 13, 2012
AND YOU WONDER WHY SCOTLAND WANTS INDEPENDENCE
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 12:30:38 AM on Saturday, October 13, 2012
I don't know how these people sleep at night.They are responsible for running this city,they hold the purse strings.they give themselves wage increases,have an army of deputy Mayors who do what.They then tell their staff do as we say or out. Why have we no reserves to fall back on. I think our Mayor needs to start getting his house in order.Stop giving grants or what ever fancy name he would like to call it to people like Peel.Stop the total waste of our money on consultants. CUT back on deputy Mayors.If we need Spicer,put her on part time or do job share with Mr Mayor,we don't need both. Start to get back all the loans that are outstanding,and there are a fair few. The country is in this mess because of the former Labour government.The city is in this mess because of our Labour run council.I hope the people of this city sit up and take note as to what is happening and do something about it.Get off your backsides May 2014 and get them out.
 
Andy wrote
at 2:22:50 AM on Friday, October 12, 2012
Please don’t cut our wages I am on the edge of oblivion as it is, I don’t want to sell my house nor do I want to tell my daughter that I can’t afford her to stay at University were she is training to be a Nurse. All I want is to serve the Salford people to the best of my ability. I work hard and over my hours, I loose an average of 20 hours per month but I don’t complain as its part of what I do, and I know the people I help need it. I turned on the news this morning only to be told that my gas is going up this year, how am I expected to pay for it?? I and my wife have not had a pay rise for three years and with the cost of living going up we struggle to keep our home together. Take care of your public workforce Salford Council they are here for you when you need them the most, please be there for them.
 
Nachschlepper wrote
at 4:05:57 PM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
There is only one answer, strike & keep striking until these b'stards get the message.
 
Low paid worker wrote
at 1:56:58 PM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
So just as I was beginning to think things couldn't get any worse .... the first wage cuts are targeted at the lowest paid. When I read this article last night, and saw how much the mayor, deputy mayor, chief executives earn, I sat down and cried. I have no aspirations to buy numerous designer handbags or live in a big posh house in worsley. I would just like to be able to afford the basics - utility bills, food etc, oh yes, and a place to live for me and my family. I naively thought that if I kept working, things would gradually get better, hoped that life could get just a little bit easier for normal families in this city. It is inhumane to force good decent people to live in poverty. When's the last time any of these high earners had their electric cut off, or had less than a quid in their pocket? I'm lost for words. Shame on you.
 
N. Minch. wrote
at 1:56:53 PM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
The unions and workers must fight this evil clouncil. Sack Spicer. Sack Stewart. Sack anyone earning more than £40,000 pa . They are NOT value for money . The clouncil can re-employ them as free labour .
 
Michael Moulding wrote
at 1:10:49 PM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
It was all so very predictable and whilst I have complete sympathy for the staff affected any staff members of UNITE Union I would deffo consider whether you should stay ? Why ? Because Unite funded this man's Mayoral election and look what they got you ? Michael Moulding, Deputy Leader. Community Action Party
 
wrote
at 12:42:23 PM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
Would the assistant mayor responsible for "Humanagment", university lecturer & Langworthy ward Councillor, Paul Dennett,like to explain why its a bottom up approach to wage cuts?
 
Tony D wrote
at 12:42:12 PM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
How many more people are you willing to put into your homeless salfordian file Mr Mayor. you know the one you keep at the back of the cabinet so it doesnt clutter the place up.
 
steve U.S.U.C. wrote
at 12:42:05 PM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
Well done Steve North & UNISON keep up the fight on this greedy Tory/LibDem cheerleader.Show him up for what he is.A greedy money grabbing bastard. Make him eat his own words and show the people of Salford & start the pay-cut first,then his assistances.If not Ian Stewart shut the f**k-up.If it needs to strike to get message across the whole of Salford would surely understand and support yous. I Know we would from U.S.U.C.
 
m Irlam wrote
at 12:41:39 PM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
Champagne Socialists has never been more appropriate as a description for this Liebour council.
 
Winston Smith wrote
at 12:41:18 PM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
Y'know what Joe? If they cut the wages by 50% and drove over the workers in their Rolls Royces, Labour would still get voted in next time in Salford. It's almost like the voting majority around here are addicted to being treated like shit. Why not give up on the idea of voting? It's bloody pointless.
 
wrote
at 9:50:00 AM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
Mr Mayor is again showing his true colours-hes s**t scared to start cutting from the top down-he would be lynched. Most of the senior officers are better educated than him and know their rights inside out-they would run rings round him.... and who would blame them. Can you imagine the outcry-he would never be away from wage tribunals if he tried to impose a wage cut on any of the senior staff.No, he will probably play the wait and see game. Again, in pensions alone, it will be the lower paid employees will suffer-any wage reduction could result in their GMPF slashed. Why not start with Barbara Spicer and work down-show the City youve got some b**lls
 
joseph O'Neill wrote
at 9:49:55 AM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
A disgrace to use equilty to hide the faults of a defunct Labour Council.The top tier again take the cream in Salford while others fight to make ends meet. Stewart promised much but instead fills his pocket and expects others to take a pay cut.They don't give a damnm,how in gods name can they sleep at night? Spicer sends out her letters all the while sitting on £211,607 a year all this while we have a Mayor on £69,000!!What's next? of course the Job Cuts will come they have nothing else left to play with,and the people of Salford voted for this,perhaps those suffering from apathy and found it to hard to drag their tired bodies to the polling stations should be a little concerned on what the peoples party and ian stewart have lined up next
 
Anti - Politician wrote
at 9:48:35 AM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
An all out strike is needed , asap . Mayor Greedy Bastard Stewart and his inept army of tory waster cretins need teaching a lesson , and booting down the road , forever .
 
Peter A Tully Snr wrote
at 8:50:47 AM on Thursday, October 11, 2012
Bring it on you over paid bully boy (Ian Stewart)! Why doesn't he and his puppets take a big wage cut or better still GET OUT OF SALFORD and DON'T COME BACK! When you start attacking the NORMAL folk of this Great City you will get your bottom kicked. The mayor should cut his £80,000 wage to reflect what he does (nothing for the people of Salford). I hope the Workers strike and show this bunch of uncaring and out of touch council leaders that asking the Workers of Salford to take a cut when they draw a stupid wage just ain't going to happen with out a big fight. Roll on the next election.
 
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