Council workers to consider strike action

The union which represents Council workers in Northamptonshire says up to 4 thousand people could walkout over pay cuts which were announced on Monday.

UNISON says it's meeting with it's members this week and will be considering industrial action.

It's following an announcement by Northamptonshire County Council that after looking at the pay of almost 15 thousand workers, over half (56%) would have their pay cut or frozen.

It means around four thousand people in Northamptonshire will get less money next year, some people, including those delivering front line services, will see their salary increase though.

The Northamptonshire Branch Secretary for UNISON, Steve Blanchett, says it's the lowest paid worker's that have been hit the hardest.

"Teaching Assistants, Nursery Nurses; these are quite often single mothers or working parents that are doing these jobs and we expect them to be able to maintain their standard of living and not have it reduced by up to 30%.

This is the first time I've been into the office and had email after email about how bad people feel, how angry people feel. I certainly think people at the County Council here will come out in mass over this."

Northamptonshire County Council leader Jim Harker says:

"We have had to carry out this piece of work following the national Single Status Agreement which required all councils to make sure across the country all pay was fair and equal. We have used this as an opportunity to review outdated pay and terms of conditions.

It is clearly vital that we introduce a pay and benefits package which is fair, equal and consistent across all our services. It is also very clear we need to do so in a way which is affordable to the organisation and the taxpayer.

I believe this package hits the right balance between a fair and equal pay and the financial realities. I am pleased there is a commitment in here to linking pay increases specifically to performance and achievement rather than automatic increases within pay grades.

Our staff out in Northamptonshire’s communities  delivering vital services are a great asset to this organisation. This deal makes sure all of them across the organisation are on the same pay structure while also ensuring the very best value for money for taxpayers.”