Wrexham Council staff furious over wage changes

Reporter:

Garth ApThomas

WORKERS at Wrexham Council are up in arms over proposed changes to their wage structure.

The Leader has been contacted by a number of employees who are furious about the planned revisions to allowances involving working unsocial hours.

But council chief executive Isobel Garner has defended the council’s position saying the proposals were designed to ensure ‘a simple set of standardised and fair allowances’.

One worker, who did not want to be identified, estimated he would be thousands of pounds a year worse off.

He said: “Morale is rock bottom over this. We do difficult jobs, often during unsocial hours, and take a pride in giving the people of Wrexham the very best service that we can.

“Even at the moment we are not taking home a lot of money.

“But these planned changes to allowances will mean our wages fall through the floor.”

Mrs Garner said Wrexham Council had a large and diverse workforce delivering wide-ranging and often complex services to the people of the county.

She added: “We value their contribution highly and appreciate the level of personal commitment that each one of them brings to their work every day.

“We have been required through a national agreement to review our pay structures and the allowances that are paid to a large proportion of that workforce in order to ensure that all of our employees are paid according to the principles of fair pay.

“The first part of this Single Status Agreement, which introduced a new basic pay structure, was agreed with the recognised trade unions and implemented from April 1 2007.”

Mrs Garner added: “The council is proud of the fact that we were the first in Wales to achieve this. Many of our employees benefited from an increase in their pay.”

The chief executive added that the council had since worked with unions to agree the arrangements relating to allowances other than for basic pay.

She added: “Recently, with the help of ACAS we achieved agreement with the trade unions for our proposals to be put to a ballot, which is taking place now.

“Both the employer and the unions emphasise that these proposals are the best that can be achieved through negotiation.

“As often happens with proposals to change terms and conditions of employment, there will be some employees who gain and some who do not.

“No organisation could complete this process and provide an improvement for all.

“However, the benefits for the workforce will be a simple set of standardised and fair allowances.”

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