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22 June 2012
Bromley council is planning to rip-up national pay agreements and introduce vouchers to reward so-called 'good performers'.
Unite, the largest union in the country, said that plans by the Tory-controlled south east London council was 'the thin end of the wedge' and could have huge implications nationally for local government pay.
There will be a lobby of the council at the civic offices in Bromley at 6.30pm on Monday, 25 June – and as a petition of more than 500 signatures has been collected this triggers a council debate on the issue later that evening.
Unite's national officer for local authorities, Peter Allenson said:
"What Bromley councillors are planning is to rip-up long established national pay agreements and drive down wages.
"This will have an adverse knock-on affect on the levels of staffing and the services the council will be able to provide.
"Councillors have now authorised officers to begin consulting on the withdrawal from regional and national collective bargaining arrangements.
"What is proposed is a Bromley pay scheme, with locally 'consulted' yearly pay awards.
"We now know that these will not be negotiated – there will only be a form of consultation, followed by imposition.
"This is a big move away from single status and the principle of job evaluation. The proposal is that 'underperformers' will not get an inflationary pay award.
"Pay will be withheld from underperformers. This is unnecessary as there are already well-established procedures within the national agreements to deal with those deemed to be underperforming.
"Those who do perform well will be rewarded - with vouchers! Worryingly, councillors will determine the pot of money for the pay award.
"This whole charade is a disguise for cutting pay – it has little to do with providing efficient and well-resourced council services staffed by a dedicated and hard-working staff."
It is understood that there will be further talks locally with a view to implement - what Unite has dubbed as 'a voucher culture'- by April 2013.