Suffolk County Council ‘pushed onto the back foot’ over unpaid leave plan, says UNISON

Suffolk County Council has been “pushed onto the back foot,” UNISON says today after the Council toned down its plans to cut staff wages by making workers take unpaid leave.

The Council – which proposed in November to make staff take two days of unpaid leave for each of the next two years, taking the money out of their monthly salaries – is now asking staff to take one day of unpaid leave for one year.

This still means a pay cut for hardworking staff, says UNISON.

Suffolk County Council says it will save around £250,000 through cutting staff pay. This is only slightly more than the total cost of the Council’s new director of people, a planned role responsible for overseeing two other executive directors.

UNISON regional organiser Sam Leigh said: “Suffolk County Council has been pushed onto the back foot after staff made it clear that they wouldn’t put up with bosses grabbing their pay.

“But this one-day pay cut is still an insult to staff who have kept Council services running through years of austerity.

“Losing a day’s pay will have a huge affect on these vital workers but £250,000 would do nothing to rescue the Council’s ailing finances, especially when we know that there are also £3m worth of staffing cuts planned.

“This will only add to the pressure on our essential services.

“The Council must stop trying to make its staff pay for austerity and properly fund the public services the people of Suffolk deserve.”