Unions slam WBC senior managers pay increases as “immoral”

UNISON, GMB & Unite have challenged proposals that will be considered by Full Council on the 9th September 2013 to implement a Senior Management restructure with the proposals including a new Pay & Grading structure for senior managers.

The proposals include local pay increase’s up to an amount of £10,275 per year which equate to a pay increase of between 4.4% and 13.3% for some of the Senior managers (assistant directors upwards), these far exceed the 1% national pay award that the government put in place via a cap on pay increases. It seems that senior management are exempt from any pay cap and can be accommodated by an external review that puts in to place a pay and grading structure that has not been consulted on.

Jason Horan, joint branch secretary for UNISON said “The senior management pay increases are both immoral and inappropriate at a period of sustained austerity and increased reduction of staff to deliver vital public services in Warrington.”

Warrington Borough Council have attempted to justify the substantial pay increases by stating there is an overall saving from the senior management structure which has been reduced meaning senior managers have taken on more responsibility.

Jason Horan went on to say “ Warrington Borough Council have not justified such substantial increases to pay, and to state that they do not want to lose good senior officers is just another excuse that Warrington Borough Council have put forward when attempting to defend the proposed increases”

Bob Pinnock, GMB branch secretary said “Trade Unions position is that the whole council has suffered a reduction in employee numbers over that last few years, an issue which is a continuing trend. Workloads and responsibilities have increased and continue to increase for all staff yet there hasn’t been any local pay increases implemented as a result of this. In fact Warrington Borough Council refused to pay the recent £250 one off pay award announced by the Government instead opting to follow the national employer’s stance of a pay freeze.”

Council staff have just been awarded a 1% pay award following a 3 year pay freeze with pay still below the increases suffered by domestic and utility bills.

UNISON & GMB have also raised concern that officers will be slotted directly in to a post even if that means it is a higher graded position, without being put through any competitive interview process as would be expected of any lower graded staff as contained in council policies.

Pam Howard, Joint Branch Secretary, UNISON, said ” The ‘slotting’ in of officers to these higher paid positions is totally inappropriate. Staff within the council have to go through a very robust re-grade process to have any hope of a pay increase, with some facing reduced salary as the result of recent restructures, so to see senior managers receive hefty rises will undoubtedly have an impact on moral”.

Added to this Warrington Borough Council are also considering further proposals to review terms and conditions to the tune of £250k that will have an impact on our members and all council staff and see them hit financially.

“We are all in it together” Somehow we don’t think so!

Bob Pinnock went on to say “Staff across the council at all levels are up in arms over this proposal and are questioning ongoing cuts to services which will impact on the residents of this town. £14 million pounds of cuts this year and a projected £15 million pounds of cuts from next years budget. Shouldn’t the council be leading from the top?”

UNISON & GMB in liaison with Unite are organising a protest at the full council meeting to be held Monday 9th September which commences at 6.30pm.

We would urge Council Tax payers to contact their local Councillor and express their views on this issue. Local residents are also welcome to attend the Trade Union protest which will take place from 5 pm next Monday 9th September.