Thursday, 10 January 2008


Some time ago I commented on a series of adverts which appeared in the Shields Gazette touting for applicants to make claims against South Tyneside Council on equal pay issues.

Today’s Time’s carries an article about Birmingham City Council, the largest borough council in the country. UNISON and UNITE union members are being balloted re industrial action as the Council intends to harmonize male/female pay by reducing the amount men are paid. This saving will also compensate for payments that have already been made as a result of European legislation which came into effect in 2003. With ballot papers being sent to 60000 workers, this is being viewed by other boroughs as a “test case” re their own wishes to slash related pay earnings.

Here’s how the numbers crunch:

National bill for pay equality - £3 billion to cover salary rises for 700000 women

Awards back dated for 6 years

Local Government Association survey shows that 50% of authorities have not completed their equality pay reviews

Birmingham City Council figures
- new pay packages effect 23000 staff
- 46% of staff will receive rises
- 41% retain salaries
- 14% face salary cuts
- 6 workers will loose £25000
- 75 workers will loose between £10000 and £25000
- 3000 staff will face cuts of up to £10000
- £120 million has already been spent on back pay settlements
- The new deal will cost an additional £23 million
- More females then man will loose money, but men have been hit proportionately harder.

I must dig out my old Gazette articles on this subject and refresh my memory as to where South Tyneside Council are with regards to the issue of equal pay. However, if it’s anything like Birmingham, I suspect I may be returning to the subject pretty quickly.

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