Social workers face pay cuts

Social workers at North East Lincolnshire Council face having
their salaries slashed by up to 15 per cent because the authority
has attempted to cut costs while implementing equal pay
regulations, writes Mithran Samuel.

Public sector union Unison is considering taking industrial
action and taking out a number of equal pay cases against the
council because of the way it has implemented the 1997 single
status agreement.

The union said single status should increase overall salaries by
five per cent in unitary authorities, with particular gains for
social care staff due to long-standing gender pay inequalities.

But the council decided to implement the changes, which came
into force this month, while reducing the overall pay bill.

For social workers this has meant a reduction in their pay scale
from 12 points to one, meaning cuts of up to 15 per cent for some

Social worker Kate Warrender said: “Single pay points
effectively destroy careers and professional status. Myself and my
colleagues are doing our best to fight this locally.”

A local Unison official said the branch had already carried out
a provisional ballot for industrial action.

Helen Isaacs, the council’s deputy director human
resources, said: “[We] are currently introducing a new pay
structure which will see social workers moving to single pay

“In some cases this will involve a reduction in salary,
but where this is the case the council will be protecting current
salary levels for three years.”

She said some social workers may also have their salaries
increased on appeal.


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