Agreement reached on Sheffield council contractors’ pay

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A LONG-running pay dispute between Sheffield Council and a group of workers has finally been settled.

The agreement means a pay rise of around 10 per cent for some craft workers and up to 20 per cent for the lowest paid.

They work on a council contract to maintain roads and street lighting in Sheffield.

Three unions - GMB, Unite and UCATT - have been in dispute for nearly two years with the council over the pay difference between craft workers and employees graded as labourers.

The pay for Sheffield Council labourers was subject to a job evaluation process in 2010 and increased as a result.

But as the craft workers did not come under the same pay agreements as most other council staff, they were left out of the evaluation process.

It meant the pay of most craft workers fell below the pay of lesser skilled labourers.

In August the workers were transferred from council employment to Amey - which secured a PFI-funded roads and street lighting contract with the council - and talks began with Amey to resolve the dispute.

Peter Davies, GMB organiser, said: “Yesterday we reached a deal that not only re-dresses the imbalance, which everyone has accepted is unfair, but also maintains fair differentials that reflect our member’s skills.”

He added the three trade unions had worked together to reach the deal.

He said: “The settlement gives a minimum rise of around 10 per cent with the lowest paid workers seeing an uplift of around 20 per cent.

“This sounds like a huge rise in this day and age but what this really shows is how far public sector craft workers have fallen behind in terms when it comes to a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

“These craft workers can now concentrate on the job of delivering what Sheffield needs - great roads, street lighting and top notch pavements. Now we need to pursue a similar deal for the craft workers that remain employed by the council.”

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