UNISON City of Edinburgh Branch





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11 August 2003

Council admits staff 7% underpaid - but reneges on pay deal

A report to the City of Edinburgh Council tomorrow (12 August 2003) admits that its staff are underpaid by between 5% and 7%. However it is still refusing to implement a national deal agreed with the unions to address the earnings shortfall, says UNISON the public service union.

Unions and councils agreed a 'Single Status' national deal in 1999 which included a commitment to re-examine all jobs by April 2001. Along with some other councils, Edinburgh failed to meet this deadline and called for an extension to April 2004. Now a report is calling for the Edinburgh Council to put back that deadline even further.

The council admits that any dispassionate job evaluation exercise would add 5%-7% to its paybill.

"Many of our members have seen a reduction in some conditions as part of the deal. The pay-off was to be the job evaluation exercise which would look at all jobs in the council and ensure there was equal pay between men and women doing similar work.

"Now the Council, while admitting its staff are underpaid, is again trying to delay job evaluation again. It is even trying to wriggle out of the agreement to follow a national job evaluation scheme", said George Lee, UNISON Edinburgh's Service Conditions Convener.

UNISON says Edinburgh already suffers in trying to recruit key staff. The Council has the lowest conditions for Social Workers in Scotland with many other councils paying up to £2,000 a year more and all other councils paying better mileage expenses - a fact Scotland's capital seems proud of in the report.

"Unless this and all the other inequalities in local government pay are addressed urgently, Edinburgh will continue to languish in its reputation as Scotland's penny-pinching council", said Kevin Duguid, Service Conditions Officer.

UNISON has now lost patience and is now planning to use Equal Pay legislation to force the council's hand.







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