On Tuesday 6 November 1,500 council workers demonstrated outside Birmingham town hall in protest at a ‘single status’ pay deal which will affect 40,000 staff.
Although purportedly intended to even out pay gaps between men and women, many women and many of the lowest paid workers will be hit hardest by the new contract. Many staff will lose around £6,000 from their annual pay packets, and one admin worker will see as much as £10,000 — half of her salary — slashed.
Overall, 12 percent of council employees will suffer pay cuts, with many others forced to work longer hours for the same wages. Both these staff and workers who stand to gain from the deal attended the 6 November protests, holding placards with the slogan “shove the pay structure — shove flexibility” — it is feared that the new pay and hours are a means of softening the council up for privatisation”.
But the unions at the council have promised a response to the ‘single status’ pay offer. Unison and Unite will be holding a mass rally on 1 December and are planning to ballot their members for strike action.