D-day for Swansea Council staff in Single Status dispute
TODAY is D-Day for council workers in Swansea to accept new employment agreements.
This week the authority's leader David Phillips and his deputy Christine Richards has met with trade unions in a bid to solve the ongoing row over Single Status reform.
Unison had accused the authority of "bully-boy" tactics after it said it would be going ahead with the implementation, which they say would leave some workers worse off. But now the union's leader Eddie Gabrielsen said he is hopeful a compromise can be reached following the get together.
"I don't want to big it up too much but we are quietly optimistic we have found a way forward on many of the issues," he told the Post last night.
"They are going to way to consider the issues we have raised, we are going to try to work together to solve it.
"They did say there would be a regular dialogue with the trade unions and that is something we appreciate."
Swansea Council has said that many of its lowest-paid staff — traditionally those working in areas like catering, cleaning and care — would receive significant pay increases as a result of the changes.
Mrs Richards said: "We are pleased to have had the chance to talk to the stewards from our unions.
"It was a really constructive meeting and we want to continue meaningful discussions with the unions on a number of issues."
The first deadline for workers to accept the new pay and conditions is today.
A council spokesman said: "No-one is being dismissed and re-engaged for not replying to the September 12 deadline.
"Today is the initial deadline for responses to individual letters to our staff on whether or not they accept or reject the proposals. We have had thousands of responses and we'll be going through them over the coming days. In the meantime, members of staff who have not sent their response letter will be contacted again."