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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue Date:- 29/28 April 2009

Unscrupulous employers will have no place to hide

SHOPWORKERS' union, Usdaw, is supporting the Government's move to bring about fairer workplaces.  Harriet Harman's Equality Bill will require employers to publish how much they pay women compared to men.

John Hannett, Usdaw General Secretary, said:- "Usdaw is a champion of equality in the workplace.  We believe firmly that everyone, male or female, old or young, should be paid the same for doing the same job.  Of course businesses are saying that this is another burden on them in these difficult economic times, and we recognise their concerns.  However, I would echo Harriet in saying that the recession is no excuse for inequality.  Plus, businesses have until 2013 before the legislation comes in."

The Bill also tackles discrimination on the grounds of age or class, bringing many strands of equality legislation together under one law.

John Hannett added:- "This new legislation sends out a strong message to both businesses and employees; inequality is inexcusable in the workplace or elsewhere.  If 2 people are doing the same job they are absolutely entitled to get the same pay and conditions.  That is why we support this legislation, which calls on employers to account for their actions.  It will give unscrupulous employers no place to hide."

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Liverpool City Council staff proud to serve

THE majority of council staff in Liverpool are proud to work for the local authority.    This comes after an independent survey of a 3rd of the workforce found that 6 out of 10 of those questioned are proud to work for the city council; that is far higher than the local authority average of 42%.  66% are satisfied with their current job, and 88% of those quizzed constantly look for better ways of serving customers.  Council leader Warren Bradley said:- “Staff that are happy in their job give a better service so I am delighted that so many of our employees are proud to work for the organisation.  Our staff work hard to make a positive difference to people’s lives day in, day out.  They are dedicated and committed, and this survey shows how seriously they take their important role as public servants.”  The ‘Your Voice’ research also revealed that 66% of employees feel well informed by the council, and 80% say they know enough about the council’s vision, aims and values.  More than 3,000 staff responded to the questionnaire.  Other findings were that 72% of staff feel their manager is open and honest, while 85% know where to turn if they want to make a suggestion or raise a concern.  Chief Executive Colin Hilton added:- “It’s vital we know what staff think so we can make the council a better place to work.  Overall the results are encouraging and compare very favourably to other local authorities.  In particular I am delighted the overwhelming majority of staff look for better ways to serve our customers and are clear about the council’s long term ambitions.  There are areas we need to focus on and are pulling together an action plan to make it happen.”   Areas for improvement include encouraging managers to give more information to staff and to do more to improve wellbeing for staff.  An action plan is being drawn up to implement improvements.  Staff who go above and beyond the call of duty will be rewarded next month at the annual Be Proud awards, the city council’s version of the Oscars.

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