STATEMENT FROM COUNCIL
"THE council has absolutely no choice other than to implement Single Status and we hope all employees will appreciate this and accept the package on offer so that it will not be necessary to dismiss anyone.
"The council is legally required to implement a pay and reward structure that is fair and equitable. We have been negotiating with the trade unions for a number of years on Single Status and this is where the negotiations have led.
"Our offer means the vast majority of our staff will either have a pay rise or stay the same and it would be unfair on those staff who want to sign-up not to have the opportunity to do so after so long. The unions asked us to introduce pay protection for up to two years for those who will lose under the arrangements and we agreed to this.
"The offer was accepted by those members of GMB who voted and narrowly rejected by Unison members who voted.
"Unfortunately, as it's not been possible to reach agreement with the trade unions, the only way that changes can be made to employment conditions is by imposition of a new pay and reward structure, first by inviting staff to sign up to new contracts and, if not, by dismissal and re-engagement.
"This is a perfectly lawful approach which has been adopted by many councils over the years, though not one that any employer would take lightly and is very much a last resort.
"No employee is being made redundant as a result of this approach. We are committed to supporting staff through the implementation phase. We will keep talking to the unions about any issues affecting our workforce."