Newham finance staff strike

12 Oct 18

Finance staff at Newham council in London have voted to take four days of strike action in a dispute over job evaluation and pay.

The group of seven payables officers unanimously voted to strike on 26 and 29 October and 2 and 5 November.

It is believed to be the first strike action at Newham for 20 years.

Their grievance centres on how their jobs have been evaluated for pay purposes.

The Unite union pointed out an error in how the job had been scored, which if corrected would have led to more pay.

“While the council accepted this error – it then took the opportunity to change its mind about other areas of the evaluation,” Unite regional officer Onay Kasab explained.

“This action by the council means that workers don’t get the pay they deserve.”

The union is warning that suppliers of goods and services to Newham could be affected as the staff will not be working to ensure they are paid on time.

Unite also said other groups of workers could affected by the council’s actions.

“If the council gets away with not paying this group of staff what they are rightly owed, council management will feel able to get away with it with other sections of the workforce – that’s why this dispute is so important,” Kasab said.

Katherine Kerswell, Newham Council’s interim chief executive and head of paid service, said: “I am aware of the proposed industrial action by a number of Unite members in the accounts payable team at Newham over concerns at how a job evaluation process was carried out.

“I have had a helpful meeting with Unite today (Friday) and we have agreed to work together to find a solution to the matter.

“Newham Council values all its staff and the trade unions they are members of. We are committed to working with Unite and its members to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible.”

 

  • Vivienne Russell

    Vivienne Russell is managing editor of Public Finance magazine and publicfinance.co.uk

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