GMB Welcome Decision By Bournemouth Council Not To Go Ahead With Cuts In Pay And Conditions For Staff
Bournemouth Borough Council seem to have taken a step in the right direction on these cuts and this is welcome says GMB.
GMB members in Bournemouth Borough Council have been informed that pay cuts which would have heavily impacted their incomes are set to be stopped. See notes to editors for copy of GMB press release dated 19th Feb on the proposed cuts.
Adrian Baker, GMB Regional Officer, said “Bournemouth Borough Council seem to have taken a step in the right direction on these cuts. However we have to make sure that we come out of this with staff feeling secure and the community given the best assurances that the authority can give.
The consultation with unions highlighted the issues the council would face if they went ahead with the cuts. The council did present its proposals to individuals. It quickly became apparent that a number of the issues the unions initially raised came to the fore.
Hard working staff quickly highlighted that the cuts would simply see a considerable number of them impacted and the changes to contracts could see community wide impact on local services as their hours would potentially drop as a result of the cuts.
GMB and UNISON recently raised questions on the council’s Green Waste project. We asked how something which is not a benefit to the whole community can be distributed to a specific 33,000 residents for free when other local authorities make a nominal charge for this service and offer it to the vast majority of their community. A charge implemented and operated in the same manner as other local authorities would potentially see that the funding deficit forcing the cuts to workers would then be unnecessary.
The workforce and community can both benefit here. If a charge for Green is implemented for those that want it then so be it, but to be free to just some seems strange. All major local authorities locally implement a charge for this service and Bournemouth should be no different in utilising this asset for all.”
Contact: Adrian Baker, GMB Regional Organiser, 07841 071849 or GMB press office 07974 251 823 or 07921 289880.
Notes to editors
Copy of GMB press release 19 Feb 2014.
BOURNEMOUTH COUNCIL SEEK TO FUND FREE GARDEN WASTE SERVICE FOR RESIDENTS BY CUTTING PAY AND CONDITIONS FOR STAFF SAYS GMB
Cutting pay for overtime and stand by work and the pay of carers for staying overnight with residents and not considering the impact of unsocial hours on families to fund a free green waste project is baffling says GMB
GMB, the union for public sector staff, is accusing the Tory led Bournemouth council of seeking to fund a free garden waste service for residents by cutting the pay and conditions of staff. By contrast neighbouring councils on the south cost charge residents up to £60 per year for a garden waste service. See notes to editors for charges at some local councils.
Adrian Baker, GMB Regional Organiser, said “Bournemouth is reviewing pay, terms and conditions for its staff. At the same time Bournemouth plan to expand a free garden waste service, which is now provided to a select few, to some other Bournemouth residents. They are cutting aspects of pay for employees to fund this.
GMB has asked the council why they want to cut staff pay and terms and conditions to fund an expansion of a free green waste programme at no cost to the service user unlike the neighbouring authorities who charge for the same type of service. The response to this is that “it was a manifesto commitment that Councillor Leader Beasley is very proud of”.
With cost for neighbouring authorities providing this service running at around £0.5m per year to provide and the current government having to change aspects of their green policies to an aspirational level it is a surprise that a Tory led council cannot see that the timing of this is appalling.
To ask employees to give up current levels of payments for overtime and stand by work, to ask carers to volunteer in a cut to their pay for staying overnight with residents, to not consider the impact of unsocial hours on families to fund a free green waste project is baffling.
Both GMB and UNISON have said that should the council push forward with this programme then surely like other authorities in the region a charge should be made to the user. This charge could then be used to increase the council’s coffers with no need for subsidy and there would be no need for cuts in pay and conditions of staff.
Unions are currently looking to engage the community further on this matter and ask them to contact their councillors and indeed engage with their local unions to ask the council to review this situation.”
Notes to editors
What other councils charge for collection of garden waste
PORTSMOUTH GREEN WASTE £40 pa, SOUTHAMPTON GREEN WASTE £30 pa
EASTLEIGH GREEN WASTE £30 pa, POOLE GREEN WASTE £ 31 pa