Unison in new stand over single status initiative in Birmingham

    Birmingham City Council staff are protesting at plans to change their pay and conditions.

    Trade union Unison is balloting 14,000 members to strike over the council’s handling of the government’s single status initiative, which is intended to iron out unequal pay between men and women in local government. Birmingham stand accused of exacerbating the situation and cutting the pay of about 4,500 mainly female staff, while the majority of pay rises go to men.

    Councillor Alan Rudge, cabinet member for human resources and equalities, has defended the authority’s position and claimed that staff were getting a “fair, modern and equitable pay structure”.

    A rally has been held in the city, where Unison deputy general secretary Keith Sonnet called for the council to think again or face a “damaging conflict”. He said: “Birmingham council must drag itself back into the 21st century. It should get back round the table with the trade unions and agree a proper way forward.”

    Demonstrations were also held in November and December last year.

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