Anger over proposals to reduce sick pay

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UNIONS have condemned “draconian” plans not to pay workers reporting sick at a cash-strapped council for the first three days.

North East Lincolnshire Council is trying to save £1.38m by changing terms and conditions of staff.

As well as stopping sick pay for the first three days, the council wants to see an end to non-contractual overtime pay and allowances for employees who use their own car for work.

Staff will be among two million people expected to walk out tomorrow over a one per cent local government pay offer.

Unison branch secretary Jean Mason said: “We are going to have people turning up to work when they are not fit, people with colds spreading them around. It’s ridiculous.”

Unison regional head of local government Chris Jenkinson said the changes would see £500 cut from an average council worker’s salary of around £21,000. He said numbers at the council had been cut from 4,300 to 2,500 since the Coalition Government came to power: “Our members are doing their very best to deliver services to the local community against a backdrop of significant diminishing resources.

“On top of that they’ve had a three-year pay freeze and a below inflation pay award last year. They are about to go on strike against a further derisory one per cent pay offer.”

Council leader Chris Shaw said continuing cuts in Government funding meant the authority, like others, had to look at a range of alternatives for saving money.

He said: “We believe our proposals – and that’s all they are at the moment – to vary some pay and conditions will save around 75 jobs and we are in continuing dialogue with the trade unions to see if they can come up with any alternative ideas.”