Suffolk County Council must ditch unpopular pay cut

Suffolk County Council must abandon its bid to cut staff pay through mandatory unpaid leave, UNISON says today after its members at the Council overwhelmingly voted against the plan.

The Council says it will implement the second year of a nationally agreed two-year pay deal, but in return staff must take one day of mandatory unpaid leave, with the money deducted from monthly wages.

Pressure from UNISON, which represents Council employees, has already forced bosses to tone down their original plans for staff to take two days of unpaid leave for each of the next two years.

In a consultative online ballot, 95% of respondents said they would reject an offer that forced them to take one day of unpaid leave.

UNISON has shared the results of the ballot with the Council, which is expected to formally respond next week.

UNISON Eastern regional organiser Sam Leigh said: “The message from staff couldn’t be clearer – Suffolk County Council must ditch this unpopular pay cut.

“Council bosses have cynically presented this attack on its workforce as a pay rise as they plan to enforce the cut at the same time as they apply the second year of a national pay deal that they have already agreed to.

“But staff have seen straight through the spin and overwhelmingly said they’re not willing to take the hit for a lack of central government funding or for Council leaders blowing their budget.

“Suffolk County Council has the chance now to abandon its unfair plans and start to treat its staff with dignity.

“If it doesn’t, UNISON will step up the campaign against this pay cut and force Council bosses to change their minds.”