William Eichler 15 April 2019

Council employees balloted for strike action

Council employees balloted for strike action image

Newham council workers are threatening the council with strike action after the authority proposed a new pay structure that would lead to cuts.

Unite said that 75 housing repairs employees are being balloted for strike action because the council is threatening to cut pay by 20% without speaking to the individuals concerned.

The council argues that these figures are 'incorrect'.

This follows last week’s news that 45 Newham refuse workers will also be balloted for strike action over the council’s failure to progress them through the grading structure.

Unite claims that this should have commenced 12 years ago and estimates that the individuals concerned could have lost up to £20,000 each as a result.

‘It is becoming increasingly apparent that Newham council is beleaguered by a very poor employment relations culture – the results of which are coming home to roost,’ Unite regional officer Onay Kasab.

‘To paraphrase Oscar Wilde’s Lady Bracknell: for the council to have one strike ballot may be regarded as a misfortune; to have two looks like carelessness.’

‘Unite is conducting these two strike ballots to defend the pay and health & safety of our members,’ he continued.

‘However, Unite’s door is always open for constructive talks with the council’s management to resolve these issues and formulate a new positive model for employment relations.’

'Negotiations with local Unite representatives are on-going, and the figures regarding a loss of income are incorrect. They are based on a misunderstanding about a new pay structure, which has since been cleared up,' a council spokesperson said.

'The proposed pay re-structure has been introduced to improve the performance of parts of our repairs service.

'Under previous arrangements some employees worked as if they were independent traders, charging labour at a fixed percentage of the total cost of the repair or work. This system was found to be open to potential abuse and was also found to disincentivise the completion of low value repairs and resident satisfaction with the work was not a priority.

'The proposes replacement pay structure is currently the subject of consultation. It breaks the link between earnings and the total value of a job, instead earnings will be based on the completion time for a given piece of work. These timings are based on the National Housing Federation standard calculations of minutes for repairs jobs.'

Highways jobs

Creche Assistant

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 3 - Starting at £17,931 per annum, pro rata and rising to £19,131 per annum, pro rata
It's exciting times at Riverside Leisure Centre with a brand-new centre set to open in Spring 2019 and we need you to get on board and help us make... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Support Worker - Milford Lodge

North Yorkshire County Council
£8.40 per hour
Are you looking to work with adults with learning disabilities and challenging behaviours?  North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Assistant Director of Growth

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,624 - £107,878 
Looking for an Assistant Director of Growth to play a leading role in our Growth activities, working to establish Lincolnshire as a place that... Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Head of Economic Infrastructure

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking an innovative and creative thinker, with strong project management skills and great political and business acumen... Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Head of Infrastructure Investment

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Looking for talented people who will confidently represent the council to all kinds of stakeholders, as you'll be building the future of Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The March issue of Local Government News explores alternative funding channels that are available to councils beyond the Public Works Loan Board, what hurdles merging councils face in coming together, and how local government is handling GDPR.

This issue also has a special highways and street lighting section exploring how councils can use lighting to embark on their smart city journey and using IoT technology to weather the storm.

Register for your free magazine