Unite trade union members have joined Unison colleagues in rejecting Sunderland City Council’s proposed changes to pay and conditions.
Unite members have unanimously rejected the council’s Workforce Transformation Proposals (WFT) – a proposal approved by the Human Resources Department in February to review pay, grading, and terms and conditions of employment.
Employees across the council, schools and council-owned companies are covered by a number of different sets of terms and conditions of employment, and are paid under a number of different pay and grading arrangements, depending on the history of local and national agreements for different categories of employees.
In the ballot 86% of green book members – the majority of workers –voted, with 83% rejecting the proposal.
Red book members – the trade workers – 95% voted, with 100% rejecting the changes.
Port members – the ones bound by the Flexible Labour Force agreement (FLF) – 80% voted, with 75% rejecting the changes.
Reasons for the rejections were said to concern less certain terms and conditions; less comparable conditions with those in other companies of the same sector and factors including essential car user allowance.
Unite branch secretary for Sunderland City Council branch, John Kelly, said the scheme was “not fit for purpose” and said the union would not rule out industrial action.
Unite, which has about 500 union members, met with council officials yesterday. They await the decision from a council meeting on August 27, and the two parties will negotiate on September 3.