Council attempts to end union dispute

PUBLISHED: 11:00 24 October 2011

Archant

SOMERSET County Council has taken steps to try to end a union dispute by improving its offer over staff redundancy payments.

Some union members are currently working-to-rule after rejecting an offer to pay staff, which are made redundant, 1.25 times the minimum level of pay. Further talks have taken place and the council has improved its offer to 1.4 times the statutory levels for voluntary redundancies.

Cabinet member Harvey Siggs said: “Nobody likes making staff redundant but we are in unprecedented times and face a huge financial challenge

“This offer is a fair balance between our staff and the tax payer and I urge union members to accept it and end the industrial action.”

Currently anyone moving from their job to a lower paid grade continues to receive the higher pay level for three years and will also receive an annual pay rise, in some cases of £1000, every year just for staying with the authority.

The council wants to reduce the pay protection from three years to 18 months and to also freeze the additional payments.

Cllr Siggs said: “We have had to deal with tremendous financial pressures over the past year and the situation is no better for the foreseeable future.”

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