JOINT TRADE UNIONS PRESS RELEASE
Date: 30th Jan 2012
‘Unjustified’ Aberdeenshire pay cut plans would hit low paid hardest, warn unions
Trade unions have condemned Aberdeenshire Council’s plans to slash the terms and conditions of their workers. While all staff will be affected, the unions warn that cuts to overtime and unsocial hours payments will hit those who deliver essential front line services and low paid, mainly women, workers hardest. UNISON, GMB, UCATT and UNITE are calling on their members to reject the council’s proposals in their entirety.
Inez Teece, UNISON Branch Secretary said, “We are particularly concerned that the biggest impact of these unjustified cuts to terms and conditions will be felt by low paid, predominantly female, workers in front line jobs who rely on the unsocial hours enhancements and overtime to make a living wage in the most expensive part of Scotland to live.
“These are the very people who deliver essential front line services, often to the most vulnerable citizens. The council’s own estimates show that some of our lowest paid members could lose up to 18% of their take home pay. And this is on top of the real terms pay cut of around 10% over the last two years as a result of the pay freeze combined with inflation and the ever increasing cost of living.”
Steven Dillon of UCATT added, "With almost 70p in every pound earned by public service workers being spent in local shops and businesses that are already feeling the pinch, you don't have to be a mathematician to know that pay cuts will affect the whole local economy, not just council workers".
Janet Adams of the GMB added, “We believe that these proposals are unfair, unnecessary and unjustified. The Council says they will save £5 million after four years. However, the council has already made savings of £5 million this year on the back of our members who have carried on providing services to the people of Aberdeenshire whilst dealing with the stress of service reviews, job regradings and job loss, redeployments and vacancy control. We say, enough is enough!”
Tommy Campbell of Unite warned, “The Council says that evening and weekend working is now regarded as part of the normal working week and therefore shouldn’t attract any special payments. We do not accept this.
“The worst employers in the retail and care sectors give no recognition to the disruption to family and social life through working unsocial hours to provide essential services. But Aberdeenshire Council says it wants to be an exemplary employer of choice. It shouldn’t be seeking to ape the worst employers – it should be setting the standard for all employers in Aberdeenshire.”