Workers claim a pay review, being carried out by Leeds City Council, will see an employee earning £18,000 a year lose between £4,000 and £5,000 a year.

The council disputes this figure but does admit to increasing the keeping the pay the same for more than 20,000 employees, while cutting the pay of around 2500.

This it says is because of a legal obligation to ‘level up’ the pay between men and women doing similar jobs.

Of the staff hit with pay cuts 440 work in refuse, street cleansing and waste management services.

A council spokesman said it was impossible to increase all workers salaries as this would mean an 18% council tax hike.

He said: “The trade unions want us to ‘level up’ salaries so that no-one loses any pay.

“But this would cost the council £45m per year – which equates to an annual council tax rise of 18% – or mean thousands of job losses and a massive impact on all council services … this is not an option.”

He also pointed out just 311 of the 668 refuse and street cleansing staff balloted voted in favour of the action.

Luke Walsh

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