Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/685/12758
No to pay cuts in Carmarthenshire
At the beginning of September, Independent/Labour-led Carmarthenshire county council chief executive, bypassing union members' elected representatives, wrote to employees making them an individual offer on Single Status [job evaluation].
Unison had sent out over 22,000 leaflets to inform its members that we were opposed to the offer and that members should refuse to sign. A joint letter was sent out by all three unions stating a similar position.
Joint trade union meetings were organised to oppose the single status offer. On 12 September nearly 700 trade union members attended two meetings in Llanelli. There was a lot of anger because thousands of workers stand to lose thousands of pounds a year. We have examples of couples who both work for the local authority who will lose £15,000 between them. Mark Evans, branch secretary of the biggest union Unison gave the main speech at the meetings. He outlined a strategy for defeating the proposals by getting members not to sign and to force the employer back to the negotiating table.
Both meetings voted overwhelmingly in favour of refusing to sign the agreement and for a ballot for industrial action if the employer tries to impose the proposals.
It will be a difficult battle, as the workers who are not losing from the proposals have been offered £1,000 to sign. You do not get this if you are due to lose money. If you refuse to sign in many cases you are placed lower on the pay scale.
Mark Evans warned the 'winners' to read the attacks on their terms and conditions, which will cost employees thousands of pounds.
From any angle these proposals are a massive attack on our members' pay and terms and conditions; it is also an attack on their trade unions.
A Unison member
In The Socialist 14 September 2011:
Socialist Party features
Socialist Party youth and students
Stop attacks on pensions
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party reports and campaigns