Union anger at increase in councillor pay

Union bosses have hit out at councillors agreeing to an increase in their allowances at a time when the authority will not pay staff a ‘living wage’.

As North Tyneside Council looks to cut 350 jobs in its 2015/16 budget, officials at Unison have joined opposition councillors in criticising the Labour group’s approval of a 24 per cent rise in allowances.

But council officials have dismissed Conservative councillors claims that it will result in an extra £450,000 being spent on allowances, saying the actual figure is £116,000.

However, a Unison spokesperson said: “(The increase) comes when the employer has just announced 350 redundancies, looks to make savings by further cuts to terms and conditions, and won’t pay a Living Wage.

“The Local Government pay award equates to around £300 to £400 per year for the majority of employees, a loss of approximately 18 per cent in real terms, and does nothing to redress the years of in-balance.

“Consider this increase at this time, giving thought to those employees who will face the end of the year unsure as to whether they have employment, and the large number of employees working below £7.85 per hour, a living wage.”