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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 November 2007

Birmingham council workers fight pay cuts

On 7 November Birmingham city council workers held a demonstration outside the council house in Birmingham city centre in protest against the council's plans to force through its gender pay equalisation plans which will mean workers being subjected to pay cuts of thousands of pounds.

Ted Smith, Birmingham Socialist Party

The action was arranged at the last minute by unions Amicus, Unison and TGWU, following the council's announcement of its intentions the week before.

Among the 400 or so people attending I spoke to a senior Amicus member about the situation: "They are issuing contracts which will be backdated to April 2007" he said. "They've done this with absolutely no trade union consultation whatsoever. They claim it's intended to create equality in the workplace, in reality they're just robbing Peter to pay Pauline!

"The cuts work both ways though - in the highways department one woman is about to lose approximately 8,000.

"So far they have informed a minority of people about the cuts. They're actually planning to write up 40,000 new contracts."

The national Single Status agreement which is intended to equalise male and female pay has resulted in massive pay cuts for thousands of local authority workers across the country.

Instead of boosting the staff's income, councils are slashing the salaries of the hard-working loyal council workers who've managed to climb a few rungs up the pay ladder.

Neighbouring Coventry's council staff went on strike in May 2005 in response to the same issue.

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