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Update: Continued industrial action at swimming pools in Blackburn and Darwen

Published Monday 13 January 2020 at 16:33

The Council has been notified that further strike action is planned at both sites on five further dates.

Members of the public are being asked to check ahead to see if there will be any impact via both Blackburn and Darwen Leisure Centres social media accounts.

The industrial action is due to take place on the below dates

  • Tuesday, January 14, 2020
  • Saturday, January 18, 2020
  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020
  • Saturday, January 25, 2020
  • Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Managers are doing their best to manage any impact on swimming opening times.

On Saturday, five union members took part in the action at Darwen Leisure Centre out of a total lifeguard staff of 25.

Public swimming sessions at Darwen were cancelled on Saturday, however planned swimming lessons went ahead as normal.

Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health, said:

We want to reiterate that our lifeguards are highly valued members of staff, performing really important roles.

The Council has a national job evaluation scheme jointly agreed with the trade unions and Local Government Employers. All roles are evaluated using this agreed National Scheme.

The top of the previous pay scale was £22,911 (£11.88 an hour) the top of the new scale of pay is: £19,945 (£10.34 an hour) for full time staff (currently five). Additional to this is a weekend shift allowance where applicable.

The majority of our lifeguards work part time meaning this reduction will be less over their salary equivalent.

The agreed pay grade remains above the national average.

The Council operates its lifeguard rota based on guidance from the Health and Safety Executive and goes above and beyond to ensure the highest level of safety.

Mr Harrison added:

There have been ongoing talks and negotiations with the union  to try and find a solution to this.

We have done our best to mitigate any impact and ensure school swimming sessions and swimming lessons are not impacted by this action.

Our door remains open for discussion.

The Council has a two-year pay protection package to ensure salaries are protected at their current grade for 12 months and 50% for the year after.

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