William Eichler 19 November 2019

Lincolnshire health visitors to strike amid pay dispute with council

Lincolnshire health visitors to strike amid pay dispute with council    image

A number of health visitors in Lincolnshire started a month-long strike yesterday over what they describe as the council’s ‘divide and rule’ policy over future job roles.

The public sector union Unite and Lincolnshire County Council are currently in discussions, under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas, over health visitor contracts.

The local authority argues that some health visitors should receive a grade nine contract whereas others should be in the tenth pay grade. Unite characterises this approach as ‘divide and rule’.

The dispute began in July and since then 32 days have been lost to strike action.

Out of the 76 Unite members who were entitled to vote for the month-long strike, 21 of them did not. Thirty seven out of the remaining 55 voted for industrial action and 11 took part on the first day.

Lincolnshire County Council offered health visitors 30 grade 10 roles after the industrial action began in July and then offered a further 43 after the announcement of the month-long strike was made.

Unite, however, argued that this was ‘unacceptable’ because the continuance of grade nine contracts left the two-tier pay system in place.

‘We fundamentally disagree with the council that this lower paid role is appropriate. Therefore, in tandem with the strike action, we are appealing the grade nine job description through the appeals procedure in the job evaluation scheme,’ said Unite regional officer Steve Syson.

Heather Sandy, interim director of education at the county council, said she was ‘disappointed’ by the decision to strike.

‘The council's career progression scheme, which opened in October, means no staff member has to remain on a static salary – all can move on in their careers and be financially rewarded beyond that available in the NHS,’ she said.

‘Unite's suggestion that all health visitors should have a starting salary £3500 above their colleagues in the health service is financially unsustainable and would have serious implications for bordering NHS service recruitment.’

Open for business image

Open for business

Andrew Knowles and Leena Gillespie explain how local authorities can reshape the future of Britain’s challenged high street.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Leisure Assistant / Lifeguard, Part-Time (Teddington TW11)

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£17,097 - £20,084 p.a.
Are you a friendly and confident communicator who enjoys meeting people and providing great service? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Business Advisor

City of Bradford MDC
£44,628 to £50,902 p.a.
The successful candidate will be a qualified accountant with a strong track record of success in... Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Team Leader Property, Commercial and Development Team

City of Bradford MDC
£47,498- £53,685 p.a.
An ideal candidate will have a thorough understanding of complex property law matters or alternatively, extensive planning and highways experience. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Community Safety Enforcement Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£29.766 - £30.711
Successful applicants will be expected to, assess and identify solutions to enviro crime and wider community safety problems, and work on... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Associate Director - Health and Care Integration

Leicestershire County Council
£73,956 - £84,327
Can you help us to deliver integrated health, care and housing solutions to the people of Leicestershire? Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue