Thursday, 9 July 2009

A 'living wage' for temporary staff at Brighton and Hove Council? No Deal!

Well I told you not to hold your breath.

At a meeting of yesterday's council cabinet, Brighton Council leader Mary Mears roundly refused to consider increasing the pay of the lowest-paid temporary and agency staff working for the council.

I asked her to consider introducing a minimum rate of £7 an hour for all staff - to try and end poverty pay in the city, and reduce future recruitment costs to the council.

Ms Mears basically just told me to shut up, claiming my appeal was irrelevant to discussions of the contract outsourcing the hiring of all agency staff - and when I didn't, arguing that of course the terms of pay and employment contained in the contract were relevant, she said she wouldn't be changing the current terms - which see over 1,000 people paid less than £7 an hour.

As I said - this is a scandal. It's destroying lives - and costing the council a packet.

But I'm hardly surprised.

The Tories have demonstrated loud and clear that they just aren't prepared to spend even a modest sum trying to deal with the fact that the Campaign to end Child Poverty reckon that half of all children living in the Brighton Kemptown area are being brought up in low-income or benefit-dependent households. Shame.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Ben, you have the full support of the Green Party Trade Union Group for this. We need to let people know how the Tories remain essentially unreconstructed Thatcherites. Hope you can get the unions on board down there for a full picket of the Town Hall on this issue.

    Joseph Healy
    GPTU Treasurer and UNISON member