Former Sheffield City Council Craft Workers Settle Dispute

5 Oct 2012

GMB and other unions have been in dispute in Sheffield over a gross pay differential between wages for craft workers and their colleagues who are classed as labourers. The pay for Sheffield City Council labourers went through a job evaluation process 2 years ago and the labourers saw their wages rise as a result.

Craft workers however do not come under the same pay agreements as most other Council staff and so they were left out of the process. What resulted was a situation where most craft workers pay fell below that of the labourers they work along side, something that the workers were not willing to accept.

Peter Davies, GMB organiser, explained ‘Unfortunately the Council were not willing to settle this dispute despite our threat of strike action, partly it has to be said, because they knew that the vast majority of craft workers were due to transfer from the Council to AMEY in August, the company that have secured the massive PFI funded roads and streets contract, and partly because they’re skint. AMEY on the other hand have been keen from day 1 to resolve this.

Yesterday we reached a deal that not only re-dresses the imbalance, which everyone has accepted is unfair, but also maintains fair differentials that reflect our members skills’. All 3 trade unions worked together throughout this dispute in order to reach this deal. The settlement falls in a range that gives a minimum rise of around 10% with the lowest paid workers seeing an up-lift of around 20%. Pete added, ‘This sounds like a huge rise in this day and age but what this really shows is how far public sector craft workers have fallen behind in terms when it comes to a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. These AMEY craft workers can now concentrate on the job of delivering what Sheffield needs, great roads, street lighting and top notch pavements. Now we need to pursue a similar deal for the craft workers that remain in the Council’.