Unite challenges management to address workforce pay claim through ending waste on agencies and consultants
Unite members working at Lisburn and Castlereagh City council are due to commence all-out strike action to win a pay increase from next Tuesday. Their strike action is likely to escalate with the GMB now balloting their members on strike action on the same issue.
The union responded to comments from Lisburn and Castlereagh Chief Executive David Burns which found their way into the press recently, in which he laid responsibility on his employees to find ways to fund a pay increase. Regional officer for Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Kieran Ellison, challenged the Chief Executive:
“While senior management at a growing number of councils across Northern Ireland are engaging with representative trade unions with the aim of finding a resolution to this pay dispute, Lisburn and Castlereagh the Chief Executive is busy playing to the to the press while also asking his own employees do his work and identify where he can fund their pay increase.
“Workers at Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council are asking themselves why it is that their employer cannot provide the same type of offer that has now been accepted by workers at the likes of Derry City & Strabane and Mid-Ulster councils.
“Unite is happy to help the council Chief Executive identify wasteful expenditure. Senior management at the council appear unduly reliant on hiring costly consultants to make decisions that they are paid to take. Huge savings would arise if the consultants were dropped.
“Similarly the council spends huge sums with employment agencies to fill staffing gaps. While those employed by agencies are stuck on exploitative and insecure contracts, such is the profits being made that the cost to ratepayers is much greater than it would be if these workers were employed directly by the council.
“Ending this council’s wasteful dependency on costly private-for-profit businesses is the most obvious way to fund a decent pay increase that meets the hopes and expectations of this workforce. Management need to stop playing to the gallery and making excuses for inaction and sit down to make a meaningful pay increase.”