Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham council scrutiny report on end of allowances

A council's decision to agree to change employee contracts and end payments for those working anti-social hours is to be looked at by a scrutiny committee.

Birmingham City Council said on 14 February that it had agreed to scrap allowances which, if approved next month, could affect about 26,000 staff.

The council is trying to save £212m in 2011/12 and 7,000 jobs must go by 2015.

Unions warned of industrial action and Unison described the scrutiny report as a "concession" by the council.

The GMB union said the changes meant workers could now be asked to work evenings or weekends for no extra money, with the lowest paid workers most affected.

Unison Assistant General Secretary Roger McKenzie said on Tuesday that workers were considering industrial action.

'Fair settlement'

"Birmingham City Council workers are rightly angry at the council's contemptuous 'Birmingham Contract'.

"In response the workforce have organised and pursued industrial action ballots which have led directly to the concessions announced on Monday.

"However, whilst a step in the right direction, the concessions will not be enough to stop members pursuing a ballot.

"Even with the concessions it still means that some of the lowest paid members of the council will still be losing up to 10% of their salary.

"I call on the council to sit down with the trade unions and work with us to reach a truly fair settlement."

A Birmingham City Council spokesman said: "Cabinet approved the new Birmingham Contract on February 14th.

"This decision has now been called in so scrutiny will provide a report to cabinet as to their thoughts on this.

"At this stage we cannot speculate on the contents of that report."

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