Southampton City Council social workers to discuss further strike action

Social care workers in Southampton will meet to discuss further strike action in a long-running dispute over pay cuts.

Up to 2,400 union members are continuing work-to-rule industrial action in protest at pay cuts of between two and 5.5 per cent brought in under threat of dismissal in July.

Twelve weeks of legally protected strikes by bin men and other council workers came to an end last month.

It left mountains of rubbish spilling on to the city streets.

Union leaders are now planning their next steps after union members resoundingly rejected a final pay proposal from the council to restore some of the pay cuts.

Council workers have been warned they could face dismissal if they walk out again.

Social care staff will also discuss a forthcoming review of their pay after child social workers were offered an extra £1,400 to stop them moving to better paid jobs with other councils.

Southampton City Council, which was the first in the country to bring in pay cuts after Government funding cuts, insists they will protect 400 jobs as it seeks to find savings of more than £75m over the next three-and-a-half years.

But it faces legal and unfair dismissal claims from more than 500 staff which could cost it millions.

Portsmouth City Council is now proposing to follow Southampton’s lead in cutting staff pay.