Unions’ fury as Edinburgh Council reneges on pay protection promise

The joint unions representing Edinburgh Council staff have condemned the Council for reneging on its promises to staff about three-year pay protection if they lost out under ‘Modernising Pay’.

Where staff were losing out on their new grade – some by thousands of pounds – the Council had promised that their current pay would be frozen and protected for three years. But instead of their full contracted pay being protected, the Council is using an average worked out over the staff’s previous years contracted pay. This means many staff who have been absent through legitimate sickness, carers leave or maternity leave could lose out.

“This flies in the face of assurances they gave staff when they signed up to the new contracts. The Council made a big deal about protection when trying to persuade staff to sign up. Workers will be furious when they find they have been misled”, said Kevin Duguid of UNISON, representing all the staff unions.

“As far as we are aware this is completely at odds with how every other local authority in Scotland has approached pay protection”.

Staff affected so far are weekly paid staff that include Refuse Collectors, Roadworkers and gardeners but the full extent of the problem will only become apparent next week when monthly paid staff receive their payslips.

“Our members, who have had their payslips, are rightly angry and feel betrayed by the Council”, added Kevin Duguid.

Steve MacGregor of Unite said: “ We are staggered that in the first week of pay after the imposition of Modernising pay, the Council has torn up the agreed approach to Pay Protection”.

The Joint Trades Unions have lodged a Formal Dispute with the Council and will be consulting their members over the coming days.

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