December 9 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Some employees at Ipswich Borough Council are facing pay cuts as the authority prepares to bring in a new salary structure.
Letters have gone out to all staff telling them that a new single status of employee is being brought in from April.
Until now “manual workers” have been on a different pay structure to “clerical staff”.
After a number of court cases in the 1990s, this was considered discriminatory because manual staff were mainly men and many clerical staff were women.
Ipswich is one of the last authorities in the country to introduce a single status for all its employees – and leader David Ellesmere said it was vital this was done now.
He said: “Administrations of all political parties have put off making a decision on this since 1997, but we cannot wait any more.
“If there are any more delays it could potentially open the way to legal action on the equality issue.”
Mr Ellesmere said overall the changes would not cost the council money – but neither would it result in any savings.
He said: “Overall there are likely to be more winners than losers.”
However many staff are worried about the implications.
One binman, who asked not to be named, contacted The Star because he fears he is likely to lose about £1,370 a year if the changes go through.
He said: “I am gutted. Is this what they think of us? I am going to lose around £110 a month – that’s a water bill, food on the table. But it will mean I lose thousands and thousands off my pension.
“I have a family and will have to find another job.”
He added: “People can’t believe it. Some have bigger families than mine and will struggle even more.”
The HGV driver, who has worked for Ipswich Borough Council for around many years, said binmen and HGV drivers have had their hours cut from five days a week to four.
He added that overtime pay has also been cut from time-and-a-half to time and a third.
“People are afraid to speak out because they worry about their jobs,” he added.
He said his colleagues were considering strike action and public protest.