Public-sector union Unison lashed out today at Bridgend council's "particularly brutal" approach to a job evaluation that could see some workers' salaries slashed by up to 50 per cent.
Local authorities throughout Wales are carrying out job evaluations, ostensibly to ensure that men and women are paid fairly for doing the same types of job.
But Unison regional organiser Steve Belcher told the BBC Politics Show Wales that a teaching assistant currently paid a basic salary of just under £23,000 a year could expect to be paid just £11,000 after the evaluation.
Managers on £33,500 could see their pay cut to just over £26,000, while a more junior officer's basic pay would fall from £25,500 to under £18,000.
Last week the Glamorgan Gazette revealed that council chief Jo Farrar received £170,310 in 2009-10.
Around 25 per cent of council workers are expected to lose pay through the evaluation.
Others will see their pay rise, but Unison warned that in many cases the increase would only be "a few pounds" a month.
Mr Belcher said yesterday that he agreed with the principle of job evaluation to ensure equal pay but there needed to be "meaningful consultation."
Councils should treat the issue with "the seriousness it dserves," he said, pointing out that the council was "not offering to protect those who are at detriment.
"They're not offering any back pay and, perhaps worst of all, they're proposing to remove all of the terms and conditions such as unsocial hours, weekend working and things like that."
But Bridgend council assistant chief executive David Macgregor told the BBC that the authority was in negotiations with trade unions and carrying out a 90-day consultation with staff.
"As an authority, we are trying to achieve a fair and equitable pay structure which is affordable in the current climate and avoids potential future job losses," he said.
"We are still in the process of rolling out a series of more than 60 roadshow events and have also established a job evaluation hotline, a dedicated job evaluation section on the staff intranet site and one-on-one sessions with job evaluation specialists.
"We are urging staff to take full advantage of the various channels that are open to them for sharing their views and to use their trade unions as part of this critical negotiation period."
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