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In a secret postal ballot held by UNISON, UNITE and UCATT for their members working for Southampton City Council, a majority have rejected the Council's latest pay cuts proposals.
The ballot results were as follows:
* To reject 389
* To accept 340
* To reject 266
* To accept 53
62.5% of UCATT members voted to reject the proposals also.
A total of 2400 UNISON / UNITE / UCATT members were balloted.
In a statement from Unison:
Under the Conservatives revised pay cut plans, those earning the full time equivalent of up to £22000 would not have received a pay cut, those on higher grades would have received pay cuts of between 3.2% and 5%. In addition, all staff would then be subject to a three year pay freeze and a two year block on annual career increment increases along with a reduction in car allowances of around 20%.
The Conservative controlled Council also linked their proposals to the trade unions agreeing to withdrawing a multi million pound law case against the Council for failure to consult on the mass dismissals that took place in April.
The rejection of the Conservatives proposals will mean that the legal action against the Council will continue. Union stewards will be meeting in early December to consider what further action to take following the ballot results.
UNISON and UNITE members will be joining the mass walkout of public sector workers over pensions reform on 30 November.
The rejection of the Council's wage cuts coincides with Conservative plans to privatise Council services should they remain in power after next May's local elections. The Conservatives have not consulted the trade unions on their privatisation plans.