Birmingham & Black Country

Walsall Council approves pay plan

Walsall Council has approved plans to cut pay for a fifth of its staff and increase it for others.

The authority said it has had to review how it pays employees "to comply with a national Single Status agreement".

One in five will be worse off and about a third of the 7,307 employees will gain in income with the others seeing no change, the council has said.

The vote was carried at 31 for and 21 against.

'Proposals adopted'

Speaking ahead of the council meeting on Monday, employee Bryan Golding said staff felt "frightened".

Under the proposals, all employees will be put into one of 16 pay grades that reflect the level of skills required.

It covers all council employees except teachers, youth workers, craft workers and chief officers. School support staff at community and voluntary-controlled schools are also included.

Walsall Council confirmed its decision via Twitter saying: "The proposals set out to the meeting in order to meet fairer pay legislation have been adopted."

Leader of the council, Mike Bird, said before the meeting that the authority was trying to make things fair but it had no choice but to introduce the new contracts because the "law says we have to".

A spokesman for Unison said before the meeting that industrial action could not be ruled out as "people have virtually had enough".

The council said the Single Status agreement aims to "prevent discrimination and remove historic discrepancies between different groups of workers".

Following the recent local elections, the council is under no overall control after being Conservative-run for the last seven years.

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