Union members at Southampton CC have voted against the Conservative administration’s proposals to cut pay.
Ballots of Unison and Unite members found that 80% were against the wage cuts, based on a turnout of 60%.
The council says salaries will be lowered for those earning more than £21,000 by between 4.5% and 5.5%. Workers earning less than £17,500 are set to receive a slight pay rise.
However, the unions have claimed the levels to be far higher with no increase for the smallest earners.
The council plans to go ahead with the changes despite the vote. This may involve dismissing and re-hiring the workforce, but this will be discussed with unions next week.
UNISON branch secretary Mike Tucker warned: “Imposing the pay cuts will cost the council tens of thousands of pounds and will lead to the most serious industrial action the city has ever seen. The Conservatives should pull back and enter into meaningful negotiations.”
Counsellor Royston Smith (Con), leader of Southampton CC, said: “I understand that many people are unhappy about the proposals; however, the alternative is to lose another 400 staff and stop providing the services our residents tell us they value.”