England

Cheshire West and Chester Council workers in weekend strike

Workers at Cheshire West and Chester Council are striking over the weekend in protest at changes to their pay and allowances.

Members of Unite, Unison and GMB are walking out as part of a long-running dispute over the halting of payments for unsociable hours.

Staff in residential care, libraries, and street cleaning are taking part.

Workers staged a similar strike over the Easter weekend. New talks are due at the end of the month.

The unions said the pay cuts for overtime, weekend and bank holiday working would see staff facing pay cuts of up to £2,000 per year.

Maria Moss from Unison said: "Action by care staff caused major problems at Easter, with the council desperately employing former staff and agency workers - at a very high price - to maintain a service.

"Using agency workers and others who were not familiar with clients needs, and paying non-striking staff double-pay has really rubbed salt in the wound for Unison members who are already very angry."

Council staffing committee chair Alan McKie said: "We understand the unions are planning further strike action this weekend, despite the fact that their revised proposals are to be considered at the next staffing committee on May 28.

"I would ask the unions to consider if this is the right way to proceed with constructive dialogue between the two parties. I think not.

"Given their failure to engage constructively with the council for 18 months, we find it baffling that the unions are not prepared to wait two weeks for this matter to receive full and proper consideration."

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