After all 280 staff at Sandwell Leisure Trust were fired and rehired to remove them from national pay there is now a local dispute on pay.
UNISON members are set to take strike action on 10th May, alongside members of sister trade unions GMB and Unite in support of a 10% pay claim or a return to national pay.
The strike action will take place after UNISON members voted by 95.7% for industrial action in a recent ballot.
Tony Barnsley, Branch Secretary for UNISON in Sandwell stated, ‘The price of food, fuel and energy keep rising and inflation is forecast to go above 10% this year. This is a reasonable claim that we urge the Board of Sandwell Leisure Trust to settle. If they hadn’t of fired and rehired their staff, this industrial action would not be taking place.
UNISON members are determined to fight for better pay and striking alongside our sister trade unions means that more leisure centres will be shut or adversely affected on the day. We urge the public to call upon Sandwell Leisure Trust to pay up rather than sitting on £millions in reserves.’
Notes for Editors
- In March 2021 Sandwell Leisure Trust fired and rehired all 280 staff to remove them from the national NJC negotiating body for pay, terms and conditions.
- During the lockdowns staff were furloughed and received 80% of their pay.
- UNISON members have undertaken 6 one-day strikes in April, June, August, December 2021, January 2022 and February 2022.
- Sandwell Aquatic Centre, currently being constructed at the cost of £73million, will be hosting the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
- In February 2022 Sandwell MBC announced that it was terminating the contract with Sandwell Leisure Trust to run 9 leisure centres across Sandwell.