St Helens Council could face staggering £70million equal pay bill

St Helens Star: St Helens Council could face staggering £70million equal pay bill St Helens Council could face staggering £70million equal pay bill

ST HELENS Council could be forced to settle a £70 million equal pay compensation bill after an employment judge ruled in favour of unions representing more than 1,000 workers.

Many of the claimants are in line to receive considerable compensation following a reserved judgement delivered after a pre-hearing review in Liverpool.

They include local authority employees ranging from cooks and cleaners to clerical staff, classroom assistants, caretakers and technicians.

According to a senior council source the cash-strapped local authority – which is already dealing with £50m budget cuts – will mount an appeal in an effort to overturn the judgement.

However, if it is unsuccessful it may have to apply to central government for loans or sell off land or property assets to raise revenue.

Steve Fay, from the St Helens branch of Unison, said: “This is a great result for our members. The council failed to establish a defence against (accusations of) discriminatory action.

“There is also a long way to go to determine what may actually be paid to each individual (and) we understand that the council may exercise a right of appeal.”

A written judgment seen by the Star, states Unison and GMB brought the equal pay claim after Town Hall managers “protected” higher earnings of employees, such as bin men and street cleaners, between 2000 and 2008.

Workers in other roles, in jobs that were classed as being of equivalent value, were on the same salary grades but were getting paid less money.

The ‘payment protection’ effectively kept in place a bonus or additional payment that workers, such as bin men, had been receiving historically.

Documents from the tribunal stated that in 2004, the council decided to protect the earnings of the bin men rather than reduce them to the rate at which they had been assessed during a wide ranging review of pay grades.

According to the ruling, it was intended that, in the course of the “pay protection period” the bin men would not receive cost of living allowance, to erode the pay difference.

However, this did not happen and the basic pay increased in line with cost of living increases, though the “consolidated bonus” did not rise.

The council conceded that pay arrangements in place were tainted by gender but argued there was justification for its decision.

The council claimed that levelling up (increasing the claimants’ wages) would have cost £70m, arguing an “unaffordable” move would have left it unable to deliver satisfactory services.

There, were other routes available, however, one of which included finding a middle ground of earnings by increasing the wages of the lower earners and dropping pay of higher earners.

An employment judge ruled that the council, which had known about the discriminatory pay in 2000, could not justify the entire overpayment for such a lengthy period.

The judge concluded the council had not “adopted proportionate means of achieving their legitimate aim”.

Asked about the judgment and the potential liabilities it faces, St Helens Council issued a statement which read: "The council is considering its legal position in response to the judgement - and it would be inappropriate to comment in any detail at this stage.

“However we can confirm that the council received an adverse judgement in a pre-hearing review. This process however, does not award financial settlements.”

Comments (30)

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11:29am Thu 15 Nov 12

keepitreel says...

this fiasco just goes to prove what type of person is running our council,they give one worker more money than the should be getting and others less and openly admited it,if i am correct the same ones are still running this council and have now cost us £70 million isnt it about time the got the sack,give us a refferendum to oust this incompitent bunch of chancers,they keep wittering on about the cuts BUT this ammount is more than those,13 years of a LABOUR goverment has finally come home to roost in ST HELENS.
this fiasco just goes to prove what type of person is running our council,they give one worker more money than the should be getting and others less and openly admited it,if i am correct the same ones are still running this council and have now cost us £70 million isnt it about time the got the sack,give us a refferendum to oust this incompitent bunch of chancers,they keep wittering on about the cuts BUT this ammount is more than those,13 years of a LABOUR goverment has finally come home to roost in ST HELENS. keepitreel

12:53pm Thu 15 Nov 12

pitbullboxing says...

Exactly my friend. All she will do is post her face somewhere and say "cuts!".
Exactly my friend. All she will do is post her face somewhere and say "cuts!". pitbullboxing

3:02pm Thu 15 Nov 12

annie1275 says...

I am all for workers getting what they are entitled to, but I cant help feeling extra council tax for us all to pay for it.
And then no doubt the HMRC will want some of it off those claiming tax credits.
I am all for workers getting what they are entitled to, but I cant help feeling extra council tax for us all to pay for it. And then no doubt the HMRC will want some of it off those claiming tax credits. annie1275

3:56pm Thu 15 Nov 12

moonman77 says...

Just a thought ... If St Helens Council has to pay this ' great result' compensation, then would that lead to further redundancies and job losses to the workers that Mr Fay represents?
Just a thought ... If St Helens Council has to pay this ' great result' compensation, then would that lead to further redundancies and job losses to the workers that Mr Fay represents? moonman77

4:37pm Thu 15 Nov 12

anthonywilson says...

Its certainly not a good position to be in but surely something should have been done sooner to sort this out.

Its not the first time St Helens Council has made a blunder with regards to paying people. A few years ago they didn't realise that amendments to holiday pay regulations had changed meaning that part time workers were now entitled to holiday pay. This was ignored for about two years and it ended up costing them thousands when it was challenged by staff.
Its certainly not a good position to be in but surely something should have been done sooner to sort this out. Its not the first time St Helens Council has made a blunder with regards to paying people. A few years ago they didn't realise that amendments to holiday pay regulations had changed meaning that part time workers were now entitled to holiday pay. This was ignored for about two years and it ended up costing them thousands when it was challenged by staff. anthonywilson

7:45pm Thu 15 Nov 12

saintsfan says...

On the one hand I think St Helens Council has behaved disgracefully and should cough up the cash that it clearly owes a lot of people as a result of its protectionist policy. On the other hand, I'm sick to death of the compensation culture and it only ever results in innocent people getting hurt while those who have been granted compensation can enjoy their extra cash. The rest of St Helens will suffer as the council will bleat even louder about cuts (that all councils have to make, the incompetent ones more than those that have managed their budgets well).
On the one hand I think St Helens Council has behaved disgracefully and should cough up the cash that it clearly owes a lot of people as a result of its protectionist policy. On the other hand, I'm sick to death of the compensation culture and it only ever results in innocent people getting hurt while those who have been granted compensation can enjoy their extra cash. The rest of St Helens will suffer as the council will bleat even louder about cuts (that all councils have to make, the incompetent ones more than those that have managed their budgets well). saintsfan

7:52pm Thu 15 Nov 12

dk8 st hel says...

Whilst I am pleased for the employees who have been adversely affected, I feel it is scandalous that senior officers of this Council have allowed this situation to occur in the first place. In my opinion the greatest injustice is that those officers responsible are seemingly accountable to no-one, despite us paying their wages. Sheer incompetence, poor management & no conscience! Will their megabuck salaries be affected? I think not.
Whilst I am pleased for the employees who have been adversely affected, I feel it is scandalous that senior officers of this Council have allowed this situation to occur in the first place. In my opinion the greatest injustice is that those officers responsible are seemingly accountable to no-one, despite us paying their wages. Sheer incompetence, poor management & no conscience! Will their megabuck salaries be affected? I think not. dk8 st hel

8:06pm Thu 15 Nov 12

anthonywilson says...

saintsfan wrote:
On the one hand I think St Helens Council has behaved disgracefully and should cough up the cash that it clearly owes a lot of people as a result of its protectionist policy. On the other hand, I'm sick to death of the compensation culture and it only ever results in innocent people getting hurt while those who have been granted compensation can enjoy their extra cash. The rest of St Helens will suffer as the council will bleat even louder about cuts (that all councils have to make, the incompetent ones more than those that have managed their budgets well).
I agree with you on both counts about the Council and the compensation culture. However, it isn't really about compensation in the normal sense you simply can't pay people different rates in different jobs when they are supposed to be on the same national pay scale. Why some staff have had a bonus scheme in operation when its not really within the spirit/ethos of public service either amazes me.

There is at the moment encouragement on local Councils to freeze Council Tax
https://www.gov.uk/g
overnment/news/third
-year-of-council-tax
-freeze-announced.
St Helens has already opted out of this and I can't see them wanting to or being in a position to accept any government offer of a subsidy to freeze council tax or limit its increase if if the court decision on the equal claim pay remains as it is. Remember this when any increases are all the fault of the cuts.
[quote][p][bold]saintsfan[/bold] wrote: On the one hand I think St Helens Council has behaved disgracefully and should cough up the cash that it clearly owes a lot of people as a result of its protectionist policy. On the other hand, I'm sick to death of the compensation culture and it only ever results in innocent people getting hurt while those who have been granted compensation can enjoy their extra cash. The rest of St Helens will suffer as the council will bleat even louder about cuts (that all councils have to make, the incompetent ones more than those that have managed their budgets well).[/p][/quote]I agree with you on both counts about the Council and the compensation culture. However, it isn't really about compensation in the normal sense you simply can't pay people different rates in different jobs when they are supposed to be on the same national pay scale. Why some staff have had a bonus scheme in operation when its not really within the spirit/ethos of public service either amazes me. There is at the moment encouragement on local Councils to freeze Council Tax https://www.gov.uk/g overnment/news/third -year-of-council-tax -freeze-announced. St Helens has already opted out of this and I can't see them wanting to or being in a position to accept any government offer of a subsidy to freeze council tax or limit its increase if if the court decision on the equal claim pay remains as it is. Remember this when any increases are all the fault of the cuts. anthonywilson

9:37pm Thu 15 Nov 12

chasmcn says...

Seeing as we are suppose to be in this all together you would think that the cuts would be fairly across the country which isn't the case

The national average of money cut to local authority's is £60.90

St Helens cuts are £183.00 per head
Wigan £108.00
Warrington £49.00
Knowsley £251.00
Liverpool £252.00
Cheshire East 19.00

can you spot which one is a labour marginal seat and which one is a tory seat ?

source

http://www.guardian.
co.uk/news/datablog/
interactive/2012/nov
/14/local-authority-
cuts-map
Seeing as we are suppose to be in this all together you would think that the cuts would be fairly across the country which isn't the case The national average of money cut to local authority's is £60.90 St Helens cuts are £183.00 per head Wigan £108.00 Warrington £49.00 Knowsley £251.00 Liverpool £252.00 Cheshire East 19.00 can you spot which one is a labour marginal seat and which one is a tory seat ? source http://www.guardian. co.uk/news/datablog/ interactive/2012/nov /14/local-authority- cuts-map chasmcn

9:53pm Thu 15 Nov 12

chasmcn says...

keepitreel you are sankey i claim the prize
keepitreel you are sankey i claim the prize chasmcn

9:55pm Thu 15 Nov 12

anthonywilson says...

chasmcn wrote:
Seeing as we are suppose to be in this all together you would think that the cuts would be fairly across the country which isn't the case

The national average of money cut to local authority's is £60.90

St Helens cuts are £183.00 per head
Wigan £108.00
Warrington £49.00
Knowsley £251.00
Liverpool £252.00
Cheshire East 19.00

can you spot which one is a labour marginal seat and which one is a tory seat ?

source

http://www.guardian.

co.uk/news/datablog/

interactive/2012/nov

/14/local-authority-

cuts-map
An excellent observation.

Not only is one a Labour marginal and another a Conservative Authority it also covers George Osborne's consituency of Tatton.

The cuts being implemented are extremely unfair in terms of the how the cash is being reduced between different Local Authority areas but this doesn't change the fact it looks as though St Helens Council has made a shambolic mess of an equal pay issue which is potentially £20 million greater than the cuts being subjected on St Helens. Will any of those responsible resign?
[quote][p][bold]chasmcn[/bold] wrote: Seeing as we are suppose to be in this all together you would think that the cuts would be fairly across the country which isn't the case The national average of money cut to local authority's is £60.90 St Helens cuts are £183.00 per head Wigan £108.00 Warrington £49.00 Knowsley £251.00 Liverpool £252.00 Cheshire East 19.00 can you spot which one is a labour marginal seat and which one is a tory seat ? source http://www.guardian. co.uk/news/datablog/ interactive/2012/nov /14/local-authority- cuts-map[/p][/quote]An excellent observation. Not only is one a Labour marginal and another a Conservative Authority it also covers George Osborne's consituency of Tatton. The cuts being implemented are extremely unfair in terms of the how the cash is being reduced between different Local Authority areas but this doesn't change the fact it looks as though St Helens Council has made a shambolic mess of an equal pay issue which is potentially £20 million greater than the cuts being subjected on St Helens. Will any of those responsible resign? anthonywilson

10:18pm Thu 15 Nov 12

chasmcn says...

anthonywilson wrote:
chasmcn wrote:
Seeing as we are suppose to be in this all together you would think that the cuts would be fairly across the country which isn't the case

The national average of money cut to local authority's is £60.90

St Helens cuts are £183.00 per head
Wigan £108.00
Warrington £49.00
Knowsley £251.00
Liverpool £252.00
Cheshire East 19.00

can you spot which one is a labour marginal seat and which one is a tory seat ?

source

http://www.guardian.


co.uk/news/datablog/


interactive/2012/nov


/14/local-authority-


cuts-map
An excellent observation.

Not only is one a Labour marginal and another a Conservative Authority it also covers George Osborne's consituency of Tatton.

The cuts being implemented are extremely unfair in terms of the how the cash is being reduced between different Local Authority areas but this doesn't change the fact it looks as though St Helens Council has made a shambolic mess of an equal pay issue which is potentially £20 million greater than the cuts being subjected on St Helens. Will any of those responsible resign?
agreed heads should roll but this isnt just a local issue its happening across the country affecting mainly women disgusting that its drag on so long .
[quote][p][bold]anthonywilson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]chasmcn[/bold] wrote: Seeing as we are suppose to be in this all together you would think that the cuts would be fairly across the country which isn't the case The national average of money cut to local authority's is £60.90 St Helens cuts are £183.00 per head Wigan £108.00 Warrington £49.00 Knowsley £251.00 Liverpool £252.00 Cheshire East 19.00 can you spot which one is a labour marginal seat and which one is a tory seat ? source http://www.guardian. co.uk/news/datablog/ interactive/2012/nov /14/local-authority- cuts-map[/p][/quote]An excellent observation. Not only is one a Labour marginal and another a Conservative Authority it also covers George Osborne's consituency of Tatton. The cuts being implemented are extremely unfair in terms of the how the cash is being reduced between different Local Authority areas but this doesn't change the fact it looks as though St Helens Council has made a shambolic mess of an equal pay issue which is potentially £20 million greater than the cuts being subjected on St Helens. Will any of those responsible resign?[/p][/quote]agreed heads should roll but this isnt just a local issue its happening across the country affecting mainly women disgusting that its drag on so long . chasmcn

10:51pm Thu 15 Nov 12

anthonywilson says...

chasmcn wrote:
anthonywilson wrote:
chasmcn wrote:
Seeing as we are suppose to be in this all together you would think that the cuts would be fairly across the country which isn't the case

The national average of money cut to local authority's is £60.90

St Helens cuts are £183.00 per head
Wigan £108.00
Warrington £49.00
Knowsley £251.00
Liverpool £252.00
Cheshire East 19.00

can you spot which one is a labour marginal seat and which one is a tory seat ?

source

http://www.guardian.



co.uk/news/datablog/



interactive/2012/nov



/14/local-authority-



cuts-map
An excellent observation.

Not only is one a Labour marginal and another a Conservative Authority it also covers George Osborne's consituency of Tatton.

The cuts being implemented are extremely unfair in terms of the how the cash is being reduced between different Local Authority areas but this doesn't change the fact it looks as though St Helens Council has made a shambolic mess of an equal pay issue which is potentially £20 million greater than the cuts being subjected on St Helens. Will any of those responsible resign?
agreed heads should roll but this isnt just a local issue its happening across the country affecting mainly women disgusting that its drag on so long .
Yes, Bimingham Council and other councils have and are facing similar claims. Not all Councils are though!
As you have mentioned it should not have been alowed to drag on for so long and considering it appears that the Council knew what the score was twelve years ago.
[quote][p][bold]chasmcn[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]anthonywilson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]chasmcn[/bold] wrote: Seeing as we are suppose to be in this all together you would think that the cuts would be fairly across the country which isn't the case The national average of money cut to local authority's is £60.90 St Helens cuts are £183.00 per head Wigan £108.00 Warrington £49.00 Knowsley £251.00 Liverpool £252.00 Cheshire East 19.00 can you spot which one is a labour marginal seat and which one is a tory seat ? source http://www.guardian. co.uk/news/datablog/ interactive/2012/nov /14/local-authority- cuts-map[/p][/quote]An excellent observation. Not only is one a Labour marginal and another a Conservative Authority it also covers George Osborne's consituency of Tatton. The cuts being implemented are extremely unfair in terms of the how the cash is being reduced between different Local Authority areas but this doesn't change the fact it looks as though St Helens Council has made a shambolic mess of an equal pay issue which is potentially £20 million greater than the cuts being subjected on St Helens. Will any of those responsible resign?[/p][/quote]agreed heads should roll but this isnt just a local issue its happening across the country affecting mainly women disgusting that its drag on so long .[/p][/quote]Yes, Bimingham Council and other councils have and are facing similar claims. Not all Councils are though! As you have mentioned it should not have been alowed to drag on for so long and considering it appears that the Council knew what the score was twelve years ago. anthonywilson

11:50am Fri 16 Nov 12

Sankey says...

I would like to understand the basis of thge pat inequality. Where people are doing exactly the same job e.g production line then that is clear but where jobs are indirectly comparable e.g indoor cleaner / outdoor refuse collector and the lawyers have equated them as similar then we have a problem. This aspect is not clear to me.
I would like to understand the basis of thge pat inequality. Where people are doing exactly the same job e.g production line then that is clear but where jobs are indirectly comparable e.g indoor cleaner / outdoor refuse collector and the lawyers have equated them as similar then we have a problem. This aspect is not clear to me. Sankey

11:50am Fri 16 Nov 12

Sankey says...

pay inequality
pay inequality Sankey

1:54pm Fri 16 Nov 12

mikeperry109 says...

anthonywilson wrote:
chasmcn wrote:
Seeing as we are suppose to be in this all together you would think that the cuts would be fairly across the country which isn't the case

The national average of money cut to local authority's is £60.90

St Helens cuts are £183.00 per head
Wigan £108.00
Warrington £49.00
Knowsley £251.00
Liverpool £252.00
Cheshire East 19.00

can you spot which one is a labour marginal seat and which one is a tory seat ?

source

http://www.guardian.


co.uk/news/datablog/


interactive/2012/nov


/14/local-authority-


cuts-map
An excellent observation.

Not only is one a Labour marginal and another a Conservative Authority it also covers George Osborne's consituency of Tatton.

The cuts being implemented are extremely unfair in terms of the how the cash is being reduced between different Local Authority areas but this doesn't change the fact it looks as though St Helens Council has made a shambolic mess of an equal pay issue which is potentially £20 million greater than the cuts being subjected on St Helens. Will any of those responsible resign?
Another possible take is that the Labour councils were being generously funded during the New Labour 13 years as a reward for voting Labour, and the balance is now being redressed!
However, I think that the major issue here has already been identified by several excellent contributions - the incompetence of the Council Leader and Chief Executive who are ultimately responsible for this shambles.
[quote][p][bold]anthonywilson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]chasmcn[/bold] wrote: Seeing as we are suppose to be in this all together you would think that the cuts would be fairly across the country which isn't the case The national average of money cut to local authority's is £60.90 St Helens cuts are £183.00 per head Wigan £108.00 Warrington £49.00 Knowsley £251.00 Liverpool £252.00 Cheshire East 19.00 can you spot which one is a labour marginal seat and which one is a tory seat ? source http://www.guardian. co.uk/news/datablog/ interactive/2012/nov /14/local-authority- cuts-map[/p][/quote]An excellent observation. Not only is one a Labour marginal and another a Conservative Authority it also covers George Osborne's consituency of Tatton. The cuts being implemented are extremely unfair in terms of the how the cash is being reduced between different Local Authority areas but this doesn't change the fact it looks as though St Helens Council has made a shambolic mess of an equal pay issue which is potentially £20 million greater than the cuts being subjected on St Helens. Will any of those responsible resign?[/p][/quote]Another possible take is that the Labour councils were being generously funded during the New Labour 13 years as a reward for voting Labour, and the balance is now being redressed! However, I think that the major issue here has already been identified by several excellent contributions - the incompetence of the Council Leader and Chief Executive who are ultimately responsible for this shambles. mikeperry109

2:43pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Bill Bradbury says...

I know that this is a good opportunity for those regulars to have their usual go at the Cllrs. the Council and Marie Rimmer in particular BUT dk8St.hel above hits the right target.

Cllrs. rely on Officer advice and if that advice is to try and get away with whatever by any means, when it unravels then the blame lies at their footstool. It is a high risk game.

I do know that St.Helens was one of the first Authorities to address equal pay around dinner ladies and I thought this was settled long ago, but apparently not.

The only winners here will be the expensive lawyers who will keep this running as long as their bank balances can be topped up. As someone mentioned above, the losers will be the low paid at the expense of their jobs in order to pay for this mess, a phyrric victory for Unison and GMB?

Again, as others have written, St.Helens is not the only Authority to be caught out, Birmingham being the highest profile. They will get the money owed but at what cost?
I know that this is a good opportunity for those regulars to have their usual go at the Cllrs. the Council and Marie Rimmer in particular BUT dk8St.hel above hits the right target. Cllrs. rely on Officer advice and if that advice is to try and get away with whatever by any means, when it unravels then the blame lies at their footstool. It is a high risk game. I do know that St.Helens was one of the first Authorities to address equal pay around dinner ladies and I thought this was settled long ago, but apparently not. The only winners here will be the expensive lawyers who will keep this running as long as their bank balances can be topped up. As someone mentioned above, the losers will be the low paid at the expense of their jobs in order to pay for this mess, a phyrric victory for Unison and GMB? Again, as others have written, St.Helens is not the only Authority to be caught out, Birmingham being the highest profile. They will get the money owed but at what cost? Bill Bradbury

2:59pm Fri 16 Nov 12

pitbullboxing says...

Surely those who will get equal pay will be winners too Bill?
Surely those who will get equal pay will be winners too Bill? pitbullboxing

7:24pm Fri 16 Nov 12

fred loft says...

The council knew they where wrong because they settled out of court years ago for equal pay to the same workers.Yet they continued to pay mainly male employees the bonuses.Rubbing it mainly into the lower paid employees faces . All i can say good luck to you all who have been discriminated against. You wouldnt see this happening to the higher paid employees and managers who work for the council.

GOOD LUCK
The council knew they where wrong because they settled out of court years ago for equal pay to the same workers.Yet they continued to pay mainly male employees the bonuses.Rubbing it mainly into the lower paid employees faces . All i can say good luck to you all who have been discriminated against. You wouldnt see this happening to the higher paid employees and managers who work for the council. GOOD LUCK fred loft

8:46pm Fri 16 Nov 12

anthonywilson says...

Bill Bradbury wrote:
I know that this is a good opportunity for those regulars to have their usual go at the Cllrs. the Council and Marie Rimmer in particular BUT dk8St.hel above hits the right target.

Cllrs. rely on Officer advice and if that advice is to try and get away with whatever by any means, when it unravels then the blame lies at their footstool. It is a high risk game.

I do know that St.Helens was one of the first Authorities to address equal pay around dinner ladies and I thought this was settled long ago, but apparently not.

The only winners here will be the expensive lawyers who will keep this running as long as their bank balances can be topped up. As someone mentioned above, the losers will be the low paid at the expense of their jobs in order to pay for this mess, a phyrric victory for Unison and GMB?

Again, as others have written, St.Helens is not the only Authority to be caught out, Birmingham being the highest profile. They will get the money owed but at what cost?
Your right to an extent Bill but ultimately very few people will publically admit they are/were wrong on issues like this Up to now in my previous posts on this matter I haven't singled any individual or Councillor out just spoke in general terms that the Council has made a mess of this. If its the officers that have given bad advice they should carry the can although its also fair to say the Councillors aren't wedded to that advice are they?
[quote][p][bold]Bill Bradbury[/bold] wrote: I know that this is a good opportunity for those regulars to have their usual go at the Cllrs. the Council and Marie Rimmer in particular BUT dk8St.hel above hits the right target. Cllrs. rely on Officer advice and if that advice is to try and get away with whatever by any means, when it unravels then the blame lies at their footstool. It is a high risk game. I do know that St.Helens was one of the first Authorities to address equal pay around dinner ladies and I thought this was settled long ago, but apparently not. The only winners here will be the expensive lawyers who will keep this running as long as their bank balances can be topped up. As someone mentioned above, the losers will be the low paid at the expense of their jobs in order to pay for this mess, a phyrric victory for Unison and GMB? Again, as others have written, St.Helens is not the only Authority to be caught out, Birmingham being the highest profile. They will get the money owed but at what cost?[/p][/quote]Your right to an extent Bill but ultimately very few people will publically admit they are/were wrong on issues like this Up to now in my previous posts on this matter I haven't singled any individual or Councillor out just spoke in general terms that the Council has made a mess of this. If its the officers that have given bad advice they should carry the can although its also fair to say the Councillors aren't wedded to that advice are they? anthonywilson

11:20pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Bill Bradbury says...

Anthony, putting party politics aside Cllrs. would be very foolish to ignore advice from Officers who one would hope is giving the correct guidance. In the main it is sound but I have experienced advice from officers which was untrue. I am hoping something will be done about it having reported it to the relevant people.

In this case it appears the Council's decision, as with many other councils, has been queried by the lawyers hence the appeal. As I wrote only the lawyers win in cases like this. They don't come cheap.
Anthony, putting party politics aside Cllrs. would be very foolish to ignore advice from Officers who one would hope is giving the correct guidance. In the main it is sound but I have experienced advice from officers which was untrue. I am hoping something will be done about it having reported it to the relevant people. In this case it appears the Council's decision, as with many other councils, has been queried by the lawyers hence the appeal. As I wrote only the lawyers win in cases like this. They don't come cheap. Bill Bradbury

3:43am Sat 17 Nov 12

i5tola says...

Where were the unions when all this was happening? Surely they must have had something to do with all of this. They seem to delight in disrupting everything and every one, to justify their dues. They must have known have much every one was getting.
Where were the unions when all this was happening? Surely they must have had something to do with all of this. They seem to delight in disrupting everything and every one, to justify their dues. They must have known have much every one was getting. i5tola

12:16pm Sat 17 Nov 12

Sankey says...

Well the unions could well be faciltating further job losses in the council other than what is already occurring. I am still not clear what the inequality is exactly and I hope its not driven by a political correct issue driven by fee hungry lawyers. It may not be but like I say the exact inequality is ambigous at the moment.
Well the unions could well be faciltating further job losses in the council other than what is already occurring. I am still not clear what the inequality is exactly and I hope its not driven by a political correct issue driven by fee hungry lawyers. It may not be but like I say the exact inequality is ambigous at the moment. Sankey

8:44pm Sat 17 Nov 12

saintsfan says...

Sankey wrote:
I would like to understand the basis of thge pat inequality. Where people are doing exactly the same job e.g production line then that is clear but where jobs are indirectly comparable e.g indoor cleaner / outdoor refuse collector and the lawyers have equated them as similar then we have a problem. This aspect is not clear to me.
Equivalency is based upon certain criteria which will cover things like educational qualifications required for the job, whether managerial responsibility is involved, what level of skill the job requires or whether a job requires a specialist skill. That kind of thing. Normally within councils every job is awarded a grade. Jobs may look radically different but the council will have assessed that certain jobs require the same level of skill and educational attainment and so grade them the same. If they are the same grade then they should be on the same pay. If the council then undertakes a regrade, as St Helens did at the time of this discrepancy, then those on the same grade should ALL have either gone down, gone up or stayed at the same grade.

A bin man just wheels a wheelie bin to a loader, presses a button and the machine empties the bin. One bin man will drive the bin lorry. Whether they all can drive or only some can I don't know but if it is only some of them then this will be reflected in their grade and their pay.

Cleaners brush, polish, mop, wash and empty bins, and do so only in limited areas (council cleaners never clean desks, for example).

Therefore, aside from the bin lorry drivers, both bin men and cleaners require no special skill, no educational qualifications and no particular training since everyone can do what they are doing. They are both unskilled labour. So they would both be on the same grade. Or should be. Unless you happened to work for St Helens Council during that period and were a man, in which case you got special treatment.
[quote][p][bold]Sankey[/bold] wrote: I would like to understand the basis of thge pat inequality. Where people are doing exactly the same job e.g production line then that is clear but where jobs are indirectly comparable e.g indoor cleaner / outdoor refuse collector and the lawyers have equated them as similar then we have a problem. This aspect is not clear to me.[/p][/quote]Equivalency is based upon certain criteria which will cover things like educational qualifications required for the job, whether managerial responsibility is involved, what level of skill the job requires or whether a job requires a specialist skill. That kind of thing. Normally within councils every job is awarded a grade. Jobs may look radically different but the council will have assessed that certain jobs require the same level of skill and educational attainment and so grade them the same. If they are the same grade then they should be on the same pay. If the council then undertakes a regrade, as St Helens did at the time of this discrepancy, then those on the same grade should ALL have either gone down, gone up or stayed at the same grade. A bin man just wheels a wheelie bin to a loader, presses a button and the machine empties the bin. One bin man will drive the bin lorry. Whether they all can drive or only some can I don't know but if it is only some of them then this will be reflected in their grade and their pay. Cleaners brush, polish, mop, wash and empty bins, and do so only in limited areas (council cleaners never clean desks, for example). Therefore, aside from the bin lorry drivers, both bin men and cleaners require no special skill, no educational qualifications and no particular training since everyone can do what they are doing. They are both unskilled labour. So they would both be on the same grade. Or should be. Unless you happened to work for St Helens Council during that period and were a man, in which case you got special treatment. saintsfan

10:40pm Sat 17 Nov 12

chasmcn says...

mikeperry109 wrote:
anthonywilson wrote:
chasmcn wrote:
Seeing as we are suppose to be in this all together you would think that the cuts would be fairly across the country which isn't the case

The national average of money cut to local authority's is £60.90

St Helens cuts are £183.00 per head
Wigan £108.00
Warrington £49.00
Knowsley £251.00
Liverpool £252.00
Cheshire East 19.00

can you spot which one is a labour marginal seat and which one is a tory seat ?

source

http://www.guardian.



co.uk/news/datablog/



interactive/2012/nov



/14/local-authority-



cuts-map
An excellent observation.

Not only is one a Labour marginal and another a Conservative Authority it also covers George Osborne's consituency of Tatton.

The cuts being implemented are extremely unfair in terms of the how the cash is being reduced between different Local Authority areas but this doesn't change the fact it looks as though St Helens Council has made a shambolic mess of an equal pay issue which is potentially £20 million greater than the cuts being subjected on St Helens. Will any of those responsible resign?
Another possible take is that the Labour councils were being generously funded during the New Labour 13 years as a reward for voting Labour, and the balance is now being redressed!
However, I think that the major issue here has already been identified by several excellent contributions - the incompetence of the Council Leader and Chief Executive who are ultimately responsible for this shambles.
What i did not included from the data was deprivation

St Helens is 64th on the list the highest being 1

Hackney is no 1 then Liverpool in fact the most deprived areas of the uk are having their money cut where as the richest areas of the uk are being barely being touched .

if we are all in this together then areas should be treated equally not for political purposes. a slow fuse is burning in country .
[quote][p][bold]mikeperry109[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]anthonywilson[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]chasmcn[/bold] wrote: Seeing as we are suppose to be in this all together you would think that the cuts would be fairly across the country which isn't the case The national average of money cut to local authority's is £60.90 St Helens cuts are £183.00 per head Wigan £108.00 Warrington £49.00 Knowsley £251.00 Liverpool £252.00 Cheshire East 19.00 can you spot which one is a labour marginal seat and which one is a tory seat ? source http://www.guardian. co.uk/news/datablog/ interactive/2012/nov /14/local-authority- cuts-map[/p][/quote]An excellent observation. Not only is one a Labour marginal and another a Conservative Authority it also covers George Osborne's consituency of Tatton. The cuts being implemented are extremely unfair in terms of the how the cash is being reduced between different Local Authority areas but this doesn't change the fact it looks as though St Helens Council has made a shambolic mess of an equal pay issue which is potentially £20 million greater than the cuts being subjected on St Helens. Will any of those responsible resign?[/p][/quote]Another possible take is that the Labour councils were being generously funded during the New Labour 13 years as a reward for voting Labour, and the balance is now being redressed! However, I think that the major issue here has already been identified by several excellent contributions - the incompetence of the Council Leader and Chief Executive who are ultimately responsible for this shambles.[/p][/quote]What i did not included from the data was deprivation St Helens is 64th on the list the highest being 1 Hackney is no 1 then Liverpool in fact the most deprived areas of the uk are having their money cut where as the richest areas of the uk are being barely being touched . if we are all in this together then areas should be treated equally not for political purposes. a slow fuse is burning in country . chasmcn

7:14pm Mon 19 Nov 12

pitbullboxing says...

I blame the cuts. and the bankers. Did I mention the bankers?
I blame the cuts. and the bankers. Did I mention the bankers? pitbullboxing

11:36pm Mon 19 Nov 12

i5tola says...

You all think the unions are all clean and lily white. Nothing to do with pay. In that case what are they there for? If they are not there to protect the workers against all this kind of thing, then they are just another finger in the pie. Just another burden to the workers. It's just a case of the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. Skill, qualification, education have nothing to do with it.
You all think the unions are all clean and lily white. Nothing to do with pay. In that case what are they there for? If they are not there to protect the workers against all this kind of thing, then they are just another finger in the pie. Just another burden to the workers. It's just a case of the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. Skill, qualification, education have nothing to do with it. i5tola

10:08am Tue 20 Nov 12

pitbullboxing says...

Unions are chocolate tea cups.
Unions are chocolate tea cups. pitbullboxing

5:20pm Tue 20 Nov 12

i5tola says...

But Pit a chocolate tea cup would melt. Would it not? Thank you for your views. When Ronald Reagan was president and the air traffic controllers when on strike he fired the lot of them on the spot. I like that in a man.
But Pit a chocolate tea cup would melt. Would it not? Thank you for your views. When Ronald Reagan was president and the air traffic controllers when on strike he fired the lot of them on the spot. I like that in a man. i5tola

8:58pm Tue 20 Nov 12

pitbullboxing says...

Me too.
Me too. pitbullboxing

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