Ex-leader hits out at union in council row
SWANSEA'S former council leader has accused Unison of hypocrisy in the row over workers' pay and conditions.
The public sector union claimed the Swansea Council had employed "bully-boy tactics" after letters were sent to workers offering them the chance to accept Single Status reforms — or face being sacked.
Now former leader Lib Dem Chris Holley has said that the union only had themselves to blame for the current dispute — and that the proposals had to be introduced.
Mr Holley said: "Mary Jones was the lead cabinet figure on it and we had to start again with discussions with all the unions.
"I think the issue the public should realise is that this has been going on for decades.
"It is a bit rich for Unison, when they took a full-page add out in the Evening Post to get Labour into power, to then complain they can't get their way.
"The unions have got themselves to blame, they have had decades to sort it.
"Councils have to implement this by law.
"They are hypocrites. They put them in power and then criticise them when they don't agree with them."
Single Status aims to introduce a common pay scale for all local authority jobs of equal value regardless of gender.
The council said many of its lowest paid workers would receive a significant pay increase under the plan but Unison said staff such as nursery nurses could lose up to 10 per cent of their wages.
In response regional organiser for Unison Eddie Gabrielsen said: "It is very simple.
"In our view the Labour council has got this wrong but that does not mean we are not going to support the party.
"We would have expected this from Mr Holley, we wouldn't have expected it from the people we support.
"The difference is that we will probably be able to solve it. If Mr Holley was in charge we probably wouldn't.
"We have had lots of phone calls from people asking us what is happening.
"People have been frightened by what the council have done."
The GMB union has voted to accept the reforms.