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Council face million pound pay out for failure to ‘consult’

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Leicestershire County Council face shelling out £8 million to 2,500 staff in compensation over their failure to consult when dismissing workers.

Unison, the union representing public sector workers brought the case against the local authority alleging that the Council had failed to consult over plans to dismiss hundreds of members last March.

Contracts were terminated to impose a new pay system arising out of a job evaluation study.

According to the union, the Council fell down on its obligation to inform union representatives of the jobs cull and then also to consult them to try and reach agreement about ways to avoid the terminations.

The rule applies where the contracts of 20 or more workers are to be terminated.

Commenting on the case, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“This decision tells every council in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who want to impose new pay systems without consent, and to cut our members pay in the name of equal value, to back off.”

A spokesperson at the Council said: “When County Councillors decided to proceed with implementation without agreement, they offered the trade unions the opportunity for further negotiations on changes to enhancements. The trade unions didn’t respond to this offer and were described by the Tribunal as having “by far the greater degree of culpability” in respect of their failure regarding this group of staff.”

The Council who intend to appeal against the decision have slammed the Tribunal for what they say is their failure to take ‘full account of the fact that extensive negotiations had taken place’.

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Annie Hayes

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