May 21 2013 Latest news:
By Paul Harper
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Bromley Council’s controversial plan to control how its workers are rewarded and punished has been called a “charade for cutting pay”.
Union activists this week slammed the Conservative controlled authority and threatened strike action after the announcement.
The council follows national guidelines when employing staff, setting their pensions, working out their hours, and deciding how to reward or discipline them.
Now the town hall wants to create its own framework and set the terms and conditions for its 4,000 employees.
Glenn Kelly, the union rep for council staff, said: “This is in a climate where the council has made 300 workers redundant and needs to find £15 million savings. It is a joke that this will lead to more rewards for staff. Asking us to trust Bromley Council is like sticking your head in a lion’s mouth on the assurance its a vegetarian.
“Strike action may be necessary.”
Peter Allenson, Unite’s national officer for local authorities, said: “This whole charade is a disguise for cutting pay which has little to do with providing efficient council services.”
Union officials have collected 800 signatures from objectors and more than 200 protesters packed the public gallery during the Bromley Council meeting in the Civic Centre, Stockwell Close, Bromley.
Cllr Stephen Carr, council leader, said “We believe the time is right to move into a more flexible local arrangement in a way the national framework does not often encourage. Local control will give greater emphasis to local circumstances and improve the Council’s ability to recruit and retain the right staff, and reward committed, hard working, exceptional performers through challenging times.”
He continued: “During the consultation period we will listen to the views of staff and work with them and their representatives to address concerns. Our staff will not a reduction in their current terms and conditions and we will seek to realign our pay award arrangements with the council’s annual budget planning processes. We value our staff and will continue to do so.”