Union warning over Highland Council staff pay

Image caption, Unions asked the council to consider pay and terms at the same time

Measures aimed at giving men and women equal pay at a council could lead to some staff seeing reductions in their wages, a union has warned.

Unison branch officer Shane Manning said time would tell what effect changes to pay and terms and conditions will have at Highland Council.

Following a ballot, unions have accepted the authority's proposals and an agreement will be signed soon.

The new pay and terms and conditions will come into effect by 1 October.

A number of staff have appealed changes to their pay and terms and conditions.

The outcomes of their appeals were expected to be known by late summer, early autumn.

'Hit twice'

Mr Manning said unions had asked the council to consider changes to salaries and terms and conditions at the same time and not in isolation.

He said: "There will be some people that will be hit twice over this.

"They will have seen their current salaries reduced because of job evaluation combined with maybe a reduction in some of their beneficial terms and conditions."

Highland has been operating a variety of terms and conditions of employment that have been in place since 1996 when regional and district councils were brought together to form Highland Council.

Certain conditions of service vary depending on the department, or where staff are located. The authority said the variances were potentially discriminatory.

Carolyn Wilson, chairman of the resources committee, said: "The agreement is the result of detailed and constructive discussions with the trade unions and I am delighted that we now have an agreement that ensures a consistent approach across the council to terms and conditions of employment."

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