Council averts dispute over pay

Derbyshire
Council has headed off a potentially damaging dispute with staff at its care
homes.

As
many as 300 council staff were refusing to sign new employment contracts which
reduced sickness and absence rates.

The
council had redesigned terms and conditions because of a £1m-plus budget
shortfall, brought about by a 1999 single status agreement – which cut staff
hours without a reduction in pay.

However,
all but 16 of the 1,000 staff asked to sign have now relented and will now
receive minimum contractual hours when absent, not the average hours, which
include overtime, they currently receive.

For
example, staff contracted to work 20 hours a week but who work an average of 22
hours will now receive payment for 20 hours a week when they are off sick.

It
is anticipated the changes will save the council around £400,000 as well as
helping it manage sickness rates more effectively.

www.derbyshire.gov.uk

By Ross Wigham

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