Black country

Dudley Council defends equal pay plans

The leader of Dudley Council, Les Jones, has defended plans to reduce the wages of more than 1,000 workers.

The Conservative-controlled authority said talks had begun with 14% of the workforce as the authority looks to introduce equal pay arrangements.

If approved, more than a third will get a pay increase. The council said the changes are to ensure the authority is in line with equality laws.

Walsall and Birmingham councils are introducing similar plans.

Mr Jones said: "It is important that we recognise that the people who are going to lose over this are doing so not because they are not doing as good job but because the inequity of the system has to be addressed, and that is a great shame for them, but it is the right thing to do for public services."

In March, the council said more than 400 jobs would go over the next year.

Up to £35m has to be saved at the authority over the next three years, during which time more than 800 jobs will go.

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