Tagged: council workers

Six-point motion to scrap zero-hours contracts for Hartlepool Council workers

Twenty-two Hartlepool council workers are employed on zero hours contracts.

The number has emerged as proposals were made to scrap the deals, with five of the workers also said to be employed on other contracts with the authority.

A motion was put forward to the full council, urging it to carry out a review of the arrangements it has with workers, as well as its contractors.

It set out how within six months a series of points should be adopted, including a right to request a minimum mount of work and compensation if shifts are cancelled at short notice.

Putting Hartlepool First member David Riddle, who was among those to sign the motion, said the six bullet point suggestions were taken verbatim from Labour leader Ed Miliband’s proposals to scrap the contracts.

The motion set out that the contracts “are incompatible with building a loyal, skilled and productive workforce,” with Councillor Riddle stating they made it hard for households to plan finances.

He added he had been employed on zero hours contracts himself and took on staff using the deals in his own work.

He said: “There might be 20-odd people in that situation, but that’s 20-odd too many.”

It was also backed by fellow Putting Hartlepool First members Geoff Lilley, Steve Gibbon and Kelly Atkinson and backed by Independent Jonathan Brash.

Council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher proposed an amendment to refer the matter to the council’s monitoring officer for a robust appraisal to be carried out of the policy ahead of further discussions, with members agreeing.

The Labour member said discussions had been held with trade unions and some posts within the council needed an element of flexibility among the workforce.

Councillor Paul Thompson, independent, said:

“This will be expensive, that’s why employers use them, because they know it will cost them more money.

“I know the Labour Party wants to abolish them nationally and I don’t always agree with Ed Miliband on occasions, but this is one such occasion and I agree with him.”

Source –  Hartlepool Mail,  10 Feb 2015

£163,000 pay gap between the richest and poorest at Sunderland City Council

The wage gap between the highest and the lowest paid Sunderland council workers is now more than £163,000.

At the top, Sunderland City Council’s chief executive – currently Dave Smith – takes home an annual wage of £175,699 before tax, while a cleaner earns £12,435 per year for a 37-hour week.

Union representatives have now called for the difference to be slashed ahead of TUC’s Fair Pay Fortnight, which starts today.

The campaign comes as the full council is due to meet on Wednesday, when members will be asked to recommend approval of the draft pay policy statement for 2014 to 2015. If passed, it will then be formally adopted and published by the end of the month.

In justifying the salary level, a report – to be presented at the meeting – says the post is in line with a large city authority, with responsibility for the provision of wide-ranging services to 275,743 residents and a £678.8million service budget.

It reads: “The chief officer pay policy is designed to be easily understood and be transparent to the post holders, key stakeholders and the public.

“The structure and level of the pay arrangements is designed to enable the council to attract, motivate and retain key senior talent for the authority.”

Sunderland Unison branch secretary Diane Peacock said the union has campaigned for the difference in council salaries to be addressed as part of the Living Wage Campaign – which says people should be paid the amount needed for a basic standard of living.

She said: “Public sector workers have lost on average £4,000 since 2009, due to the pay freeze and increase in the cost of living.

“Many workers in the council earn below the Living Wage, forcing working families to rely on food banks, and hitting the local economy as people don’t have money to spend in it. The TUC’s Fair Pay Fortnight campaign starts next week, and our branch in Sunderland will be playing a part to urge the authority to work towards reducing this ratio and reward public sector workers for the excellent service they provide.”

Other high-earners within the authority, include the deputy chief executive, executive director of commercial and corporate services and executive director of people services, which all fall within a salary range of £117,572 and £128,063 per year. Deputy executive and corporate directors, of which there are four, are on between £81,960 and £97,327.

The lowest paid employees at Grade A are newly-appointed cleaners for the first six months of service.

Apprentices are not included in the report.

Source – Sunderland Echo,  24 March 2014