Suffolk Council tries to dress cash grab up as a pay rise

Photo © Hamish Griffin (cc-by-sa/2.0)

Suffolk County Council wants to pick the pockets of its staff and tell them they’re getting a pay rise, UNISON warns today.

Suffolk County Council announced today potential changes to terms and conditions to staff contracts, including forcing staff to take two days of unpaid leave for the next two years.

The council is currently consulting on the changes. Unpaid leave will be taken out of monthly pay and is likely to affect pensions.

The council has also said it will implement a nationally agreed pay deal for its employees, which had already been committed to.

It’s also proposing to allow employees to move up within their pay bands having previously frozen incremental rises for the last five years. Long-serving employees at the top of their pay bands will not benefit from this, while there are likely to be unattainable service-level criteria to actually move up the pay scale, UNISON warns.

UNISON regional organiser Sam Leigh said: “Suffolk County Council is reaching into its workers pockets while telling them they’re getting a pay rise.

“Suffolk County Council is dressing up the already agreed nationally negotiated pay rise while clawing back the cash by forcing staff to take unpaid leave.”

“Whatever spin council bosses try to put on this, council staff know that this is a pay cut, and it’s a bitter pill to swallow after years of dedicated work.

“Council bosses need to realise that the way out of this funding crisis isn’t to sheepishly pass cuts from central government onto their hardworking staff but make Hammond and May come good on their claim that ‘austerity is over’ and stop destroying our public services.”