CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Union fears contract switch for council workers will lead to pay cut

The union believes that more than 100 workers will lose an average of £1,800 a year as a result.

15 June, 2018 — By William McLennan

SOME of Camden Council’s lowest-paid workers will be worse off if they are forced by the Town Hall to switch to new contracts, union bosses have warned.

Around 600 employees are to be offered a lump sum payment to switch to the new terms, but Camden Unison says that it will lead to a pay cut for dozens of workers.

Librarians, and others who have to work weekends and outside office hours, are among the worst affected.

Branch secretary Liz Wheatley said staff had been offered a two-year “pay protection”, but added: “After a couple of years, their pay will drop and for some it will be quite a significant amount. Library staff, in particular, seem to be the worst affected by the move to the newer contract.”

She said that for others who do not “suffer financially, the working week will be slightly longer and staff can’t build up additional leave for long service”. The union believes that more than 100 workers will lose an average of £1,800 a year as a result.

The new-style contract was first introduced in 2012 , with around 3,500 employees now signed up. It is believed those who do not switch voluntarily face the threat of being “dismissed and re-engaged” under new terms.

Ms Wheatley said: “We do not think it’s right to agree to something where, although some people may benefit, others will lose out.”

A council statement said only 15 per cent of the workforce remained on the older style of contracts. “

If they move to new contracts, 80 per cent of those staff will be paid the same or will be better off,” it added. “The remainder, who will see an impact on their pay, will have safe­guards in place to support the transition to the new contract, including pay protection for two years and a compensatory payment.” No decision had been made to force staff onto the new contract at this stage.

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