UNISON West Dunbartonshire Branch has launched a consultative ballot of administrative workers seeking their views on taking industrial action including strike action. The move comes in response to the council creating a Corporate Administration Service which brings together virtually all administrative staff in the council into one team on generic job descriptions.
The move to a centralised team has left UNISON members feeling their skills and experience are devalued and created alienation at work. There are many complex and distinct tasks carried out by admin staff. Morale has further plummeted as some staff face a £5k drop in their wages which is over 20% of their pay.
It is hoped the consultative ballot will give a clear indication of the strength of feeling of members and lead the Council to rethink and remove the pay cuts.
Speaking today UNISON Branch Convenor, Val Jennings said: “ Our members at mass meetings expressed such anger at the handling of the Central Admin Service and the cuts to wages that they indicated they wanted to strike. We’ve raised this with management and continue to meet them. We do acknowledge that the council have taken steps to improve communication but they are still sticking to the £5,000 cuts. It is unacceptable that when we see the number of staff earning over £50k a year increase from 107 to 116 in a year the Council is asking low paid predominantly female staff to swallow a £5,000 cut. The whole branch is behind our Admin workers and is well aware that there are similar huge cuts to wages facing care workers who are again mainly women.”
Val continued “These and other cuts are part of needless austerity. We welcome the launching a joint trade union and community based campaign against austerity in West Dunbartonshire and will be contacting councillors to call on them to start exercising political leadership. You can’t claim to be part of an anti austerity party if you will stand by and let low paid women receive an over 20% cut in wages.”
Val Jennings, UNISON West Dunbartonshire branch, 07803 455433