Fisher: “Tough measures for tough times”

This is the official press release issued by Croydon Council announcing its proposals for changes in terms of employment for its staff.

News release No.  PR 4104

Date: 20 July 2010

For Immediate Release

COUNCIL STAFF FACE CURB ON CONDITIONS TO REDUCE TAX PRESSURE

Local taxpayers could be saved an extra £1.7 million a year if Croydon Council goes ahead with a package of measures to amend pay-related terms and conditions of its staff.

Initial proposals are currently out for consultation with trades unions and will be brought forward for formal consideration and decision in the early autumn.

If implemented the resulting savings will contribute to the 30% reduction in operating costs that the council needs to make over the next four years to compensate for loss of income and increased demand for services.  The changes being proposed are in line with action being taken by other councils across London to reduce their employment costs.

Although a pay freeze is already in place in Croydon, the 40 top-earning officers face pay cuts of up to three per cent.  Chief officers are also set to lose their allowance for travel and subsistence.

Other measures that will affect all council-employed staff include:

•      Reducing redundancy payments (but remaining above the statutory cap)

•      Cutting back on annual leave entitlement

•      Being less generous with sick pay provision

•      Curbing the number of staff receiving ‘essential car use’ payments and introducing a car pool for those who need to drive on business within the borough

•      Incentivising high performance by limiting pay scale progression to staff receiving ‘excellent’ ratings

•      Securing greater consistency on overtime and weekend working arrangements.

Council leader Mike Fisher said  “These are tough measures for tough times.  They reflect the austere world in which the public sector is now operating and recognise that the primary job of the council is to deliver vital services to those who depend on them.

“The coalition government is obliging the public sector to make substantial savings in order to help overcome the country’s financial position.  In Croydon our payroll represents the highest proportion of council spending.  Reducing terms and conditions saves public money but also eases the undoubted pressure on staff numbers and pay.  On balance we believe this represents a practical way forward that will be appreciated by residents and recognised by staff as a fair and balanced approach to rewarding them for their effort in very difficult times.  Public sector staff cannot be immune from the hardship that is being widely experienced as a result of reducing the Government deficit and what we are proposing in Croydon will be similar to the kind of action expected across London.  We very much hope that we can reach a collective agreement with the unions on the proposals and we look forward to their response in September.”

Ends

Notes for editors

The council recognises the GMB, Unite and the Unison trade unions and has started formal consultation with them as part of the collective bargaining process.  A formal response has been requested by 10 September.

Read what Council insiders are telling Inside Croydon by clicking here

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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