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Birmingham Shitty Council Demonstration

D | 13.01.2008 18:08 | Workers' Movements | Birmingham | World

Saturday 12th January 2008- West Midlands IWW attended a demonstration in front of the council house against Birmingham City Councils intended ‘re-structure’. We felt that our feelings had to be expressed about the council’s proposed plans – Birmingham has a SHITTY council!

Council House = Shit House
Council House = Shit House

One out all out!
One out all out!

Birmingham City Council, who are the largest employer in Birmingham and the biggest city council in Europe, have recently undertaken a Pay & grading review as part of the Single Status Agreement. Despite overwhelming opposition from all of the mainstream Unions, the City Council has served notice to the DTI of their intention to dismiss re-engage all 40,000 of its employees.

The re-structure initially started when female staff in specific sectors of the council fought for equal pay. The council lost the case and was rightly told to award back-pay for those affected and modernise their staff pay structure. Realising an opportunity, they have used it to their advantage to impose terms and conditions on employees that benefit the council. In a rare moment of honesty, senior officers during negotiations admitted that they want to introduce private sector practices into local government pay. All of a sudden their agenda become all the more clearer.

They maintain that their proposed pay structure is the only one open to them due to the cost of implementing a fairer and more equitable structure - they plead poverty at every juncture yet the joint trade union's have learned that they are paying Business Transformation consultants over a thousand pound a day and most disgustingly Axon Global are to receive £140m.

In addition to these open attacks on our members pay, terms and conditions Birmingham is embarking on a massive Business Transformation project which will see massive outsourcing of many frontline services. We have already seen strategic partnership agreements with Capita to takeover finance, HR & customer service points and that is just the beginning. PFI has once again reared its ugly head in transportation despite assurances that this plan had been shelved.

Shamefully, the City Council intend to impose a 7 wide band grade structure which neither delivers true pay equality in a reasonable time but has many more significant losers - in the worst cases in excess of £18,000p.a.

In addition to hitting our members hard in their pockets the city has used the Pay & Grading Review process to attack our national Terms and Conditions:

* Performance related pay after 2 years or from 1/4/2008 for new
* Any 5 days from 7 working
* Standard hours of (7am - 7pm)
* Weekly to monthly pay
* Complete flexibility in Work Place, Hours and Job Location Across Generic grade boundaries
* The threat of winding up every Bonus Scheme to 1100 employees without agreed notice and ANY pay protection whatsoever.

We are aware that many authorities up and down the UK are looking at how Birmingham implements it’s proposed structure as the way forward. All union members have been balloted for strike action. We shall wait and see……

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