Unions Say Yes To Deal To End Pay Row

Southampton City Council workers have voted to accept a deal to end the long running dispute over pay cuts imposed by the previous Conservative leadership of the City Council.

Under the deal, those earning between £17,000 and £22,000 (full time equivalent) will see their pay restored in November.  Those earning between £22,000 and £35,000 will see their pay restored in three installments between November 2012 and April 2014. 

Those earning over £35,000 will have to wait until 2015 for their pay to be fully restored.  Those earning less than £17,000 will receive an increment payment backdated to May 2011. 

Council workers made redundant as a result of the 2011/12 Council budget will receive a one off compensation payment..

In return for the settlement, UNISON and Unite will withdraw all legal action against the Council and call off ongoing industrial action.

The unions had been in dispute for more than a year, with workers taking more than 200 days of industrial action.

Unite national officer Peter Allenson said:

''Southampton City Council is the first council to reverse pay cuts since the Tory-led government came to power in 2010 with its disastrous austerity agenda.

''This breakthrough marks a substantial change in culture and it has national significance. Southampton now has a Labour administration willing and eager to treat its employees and the unions who represent them with dignity and respect.''

Unions said £2.3 million is being put back into the wages of council workers.

Councillor Simon Letts, the authority's cabinet member for resources, said:

''The deal which we have put together with the unions will be a real boost for morale and staff retention and shows just what can be achieved when councils are prepared to engage with their staff."