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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 August 2013

Swansea council pay attacks angers workers

Swansea's Labour-run council has angered workers represented by the Unison union after it decided to press ahead with imposed pay cuts.

Dismissing workers' objections, deputy council leader, Christine Richards, said: "We've now reached the point where further negotiations will not result in agreement".

The council changes are being proposed under the cover of job evaluation - making cuts in the name of 'equality'.

Over 2,000 council workers stand to lose summer retainers; amongst the worst affected are nursery nurses who stand to lose weeks of pay.

Some manual workers, such as those in refuse, have previously estimated that they could lose 4,000 or more in shift allowances, unsocial hours and bonuses.

Unison hopes to mitigate these cuts through further negotiations but it is only determined action in defence of terms and conditions that can force the council to back down.

The branch previously encouraged members to go out and campaign to elect Labour councillors. Members were told that replacing a Liberal Democrat-led coalition with a Labour one would mean the council working with the union.

As well as organising for action and linking with service users to defend services, Unison needs to fight these attacks, politically.

It should support anti-cuts candidates in future council elections and warn that any Labour councillor voting for these attacks on our members will be challenged.

A Unison member

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In The Socialist 14 August 2013:


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