Friday, September 28, 2007

Congratulations Dinner ladies of the borough!! You've made em' look like bigger hypocrites than they already were!

On tonights teletext. ITV page 337

Six North East Councils are being allowed to borrow from a £500m Government fund to settle equal pay claims among their staff.

They are: -
Middlesborough, South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Stockton on Tees, Wear Valley and Redcar and Cleveland

Then I had a look and found this little lovely from the bold Abbott

I trust you will find this of interest

Chris Abbott

Thu 29th Jan 2004 02:32 PM first with the news: COUNCIL’S PRIDE AT FIRST FAIR DEAL FOR TOWN HALL WORKERS REDCAR and Cleveland Council has today (Thursday, January 29) become the first local authority in the North East to complete an amicable agreement with the unions to ensure hundreds of its lowest-paid workers will enjoy a better, fairer pay deal from April 1.

The Council gave final approval to a single status agreement for all staff at meetings in Eston Town Hall this morning (Thursday). It follows months of negotiations with the Town Hall unions, supported by ACAS. The Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Resources, Councillor Glyn Nightingale said: “This is a proud and historic day for the Council and the most important outcome of any decision yet taken by the new Coalition administration. We are in the forefront of councils nationwide with this ground-breaking settlement.” John McCormack, Unison’s Redcar and Cleveland branch secretary and secretary of the Joint Trade Unions, said: “We are extremely pleased for the majority of our members and in the present financial climate we have struck the best deal possible.”

Pay increases will benefit 3,900 of the Council’s lower paid staff, mainly women, in posts including cooks, cleaners and home care staff. The rises are set to range from a few hundred pounds up to £5,000 - as much as 40 per cent up on the previous basic wage. The Council is also making written offers to 2,600 women and a small number of men of ex-gratia payments, some over £6,000, for “hurt feelings” over perceived sex discrimination and their patience for not making claims against the Council.

The detailed analysis of jobs has identified 1,600 posts where pay rates reduce, but, in agreement with the unions, staff affected – the majority are clerical grades - will be integrated in a three-year tapering pay protection scheme before moving to their new pay levels. Councillor Nightingale said: “Seven out of ten among our lower paid staff will benefit from higher pay. Dealing with the remainder is a delicate issue and we are committed to doing all we can to treat affected staff with sympathy and support during the adjustment process. “They will be given an opportunity to have their situation reviewed, gain extra skills to increase their job evaluation score and get financial advice from the Council.”

Mr McCormack said: “We are disappointed that the protection arrangements weren’t longer, but hopefully by the end of the three-year period, most of the problems will have been resolved.” The cost of paying the ground-breaking deal, which will now be used as a model for the region’s Town Hall employers, is £1.8m and will result in a 4.5 per cent increase on this year’s Council Tax bills, exactly £43.22 a year more on Band D – virtually the whole of the expected Council Tax rise. To pay the ex-gratia element of the deal will cost an additional £3.5million, which will be paid out of current funds which the Council had already set aside for that purpose.

Councillor Nightingale explained: “The Government have not helped us on this issue. They have forced us to pay this out of Council Tax and refused to allow the Council to use its borrowing powers. “But the single status issue had to be resolved to settle a long-standing injustice. We have grasped the nettle. The Council Tax will rise, but we are confident our agreement will stand up to the most rigorous scrutiny and show it represents value for money.” Staff will be given a detailed breakdown of the deal at a series of nine roadshows, hosted by the Council’s Chief Executive Colin Moore, starting next week.

The 140 workers who have lodged equal pay claims at an employment tribunal will not be excluded from the offer of ex-gratia payments in settlement of their claims. Councillor Nightingale added: “We have 140 people who have lodged claims with a tribunal. That is their right and they are entitled to do so. “They were promised exaggerated amounts of money for January 19, but ten days later nothing has materialised and it is unlikley to do so for some time yet. “Our staff have a choice – tax free cash now or an unknown amount of money, taxed with legal fees deducted at an unknown time in the future.”

Good On Ya Ladies!

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