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Sandwell council victory for admin staff

Wednesday, October 29, 2014
ADMIN workers at Sandwell Council are celebrating an 11th-hour victory that has saved around 30 of them from losing up to £4,000 a year in wages. 

The staff, who are mainly women, were on the brink of voting for strike action against plans to downgrade their jobs to fund three extra posts in their department. 

GMB along with Unison members voted unanimously for strike action in a “consultative” ballot. But Sandwell Council dropped the downgrading idea just before union members of the GMB and Unison unions were due to have a formal strike ballot. 

Council bosses were planning to downgrade “Band D” administrative workers in the children’s social care and early help administrative teams. 

Management later said it would had decided not to continue with the regrading, which was part of a report on “budget efficiencies”. 

The mainly female workforce went back to work happy, 

Sandwell Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Like all authorities we are haveing to make very tough choices because we are having to respond to massive government cuts to all budgets and services. 

“We put an informal proposal together to save £80,000, which would have affected up to 30 people’s employment conditions. “However, we have listened to staff who were concerned about this and will now rely on making savings as employees leave or move on to other posts.”
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