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Thousands of Swansea Council workers poised for pay rise

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 09, 2012

By Helen Keates

Swansea Civic Centre

Swansea Civic Centre

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CARE workers and catering and cleaning staff are among thousands of Swansea Council workers set to get a pay rise.

But around 20 per cent of the local authority's total workforce will take a cut under the proposals set to go before unions.

Over the years the authority's staff have been working under a myriad of terms and conditions including, for example, pay and overtime. But legislation means the authority has to adopt one pay structure across the board, which it is calling single status.

The council has put its best and final offer to the trades unions, following years of negotiations.

Single status affects all 12,221 posts in the council, however, it employs fewer people than this (some staff hold more than one local authority job).

Under the proposed pay structure almost 80 per cent of those posts will not lose pay with 44 per cent getting a pay rise and 35 per cent staying on current salaries.

Many of the council's lowest-paid staff, traditionally working in catering, cleaning and care, stand to gain the most.

However, there will be pay rises and cuts across the workforce. "Like all councils we have to introduce single status and have an equality-proofed pay structure," Swansea Council deputy leader Christine Richards said. "Officers have worked closely with the trade unions for many months and we're now in the position to put forward our best and final offer to them.

"This is a significant moment for our hard-working staff, many of whom are in frontline services which make a difference to people's lives every day. It means more than 44 per cent of them would receive a pay increase and a further 35 per cent would remain on the same salary.

"We're also working to do as much as we can to protect those facing a pay reduction. They are going to be placed at the top of their grade and will also receive pay protection for one year to help cushion the loss."

The proposals, which will cost more than £12 million to implement, also include council staff retaining their existing holiday entitlement, which was previously agreed.

To protect frontline services, the council has been setting money aside to help fund the proposed changes.

The council added that it hoped a collective agreement could be reached with the unions so the proposals could be implemented in the first half of 2013. The unions have been asked to respond to the council's offer within six weeks.

Mrs Richards added: "Over the last 30 years many different terms and conditions have been negotiated which has resulted in staff receiving different entitlements such as overtime and weekend working payments.

"Our proposed changes will provide consistency across the council for the first time. This will also ensure that staff reward structures are transparent and all staff are treated the same."

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  • brochadav  |  November 09 2012, 12:29PM

    Isn't it time percentage pay rises were stopped for top earners and replaced with a fixed sum, say £100 a year while low earners got .5% above inflation and do this for 20 years so wages became fairer. People earning big money always get bigger % rises than low earners which is blatantly unfair and should be changed.

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  • Neathboy234  |  November 09 2012, 12:27PM

    tellyon good point, perhaps it should be made a requirement that any jobs being privatized should also pay the living wage. I think the living wage is a good thing, even the likes of Boris Johnson are also in favor of it as well

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  • tellyon  |  November 09 2012, 12:23PM

    What about the workers who will lose their jobs? What about the work that is outsourced to the private sector? Will the requirement to pay a living wage to employees be written into all outsourced contracts?

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  • Neathboy234  |  November 09 2012, 11:08AM

    meanwhile the bankers who caused all these problems are filling their boots again. And the same can be said for our MP's at Westminster who were suppose to be watching over the same said bankers.

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  • antyall  |  November 09 2012, 10:57AM

    geoboy01.Its less than3 month away! Things dont happen over night at the best of times, I can remember having to wait for any new settlement to be put in place.

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  • geoboy01  |  November 09 2012, 9:57AM

    pathetic,having to wait until the first half of 2013 for a tiny piddling ammount council bosses should put a hold on their wage rises for at least 2 years to comprmise for the little work that they do!

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