Connexions pay strikes to resume

Five hundred Connexions staff in Greater Merseyside are set to go
on strike for the third time this month over new pay and working

The two-day strike, on 7 and 8 May, comes as a result of a dispute
between the workers and their management over contracts introduced
on 1 April and the proposed introduction of what staff see as
performance-related pay. Previous strikes took place on 1 and 10

Prior to 1 April, Connexions staff, who came from four separate
career service companies, were on different pay scales. They said
they were in negotiations with management about merging these, but
that they had not been consulted over the new pay structure, which
still contained massive differences.

They were also opposed to the introduction of “performance related
pay” and objected to new working hours outlined in the contracts.
Both pay proposals were put forward in a letter from management to
its employees.

Public sector union Unison, which is representing the workers, said
82 per cent of the 512 staff who voted on the issue voted in favour
of striking. “You don’t get an 82 per cent ballot if people don’t
feel angry about a situation,” said Knowsley Unison branch
secretary Roger Bannister.

But Connexions Greater Merseyside chief executive Kieran Gordon
insisted that staff pay had neither been affected by the new
contract nor been the subject of negotiations.

He said pay negotiations were still to take place after Unison
requested the issue be dealt with separately from other terms and

“They are striking on something that has not been negotiated yet,”
Gordon said.

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