Opposition members 'kept in the dark' over pay changes at Boston Borough Council
A LABOUR councillor claims members are being kept in the dark over decisions for Boston Borough Council's terms and conditions of pay.
Councillor Paul Kenny claimed that council members have been meeting with union representatives behind closed doors to discuss the temporary reduced pay, sick pay and overtime rate terms and conditions.
Cllr Kenny said: "Boston Borough Council has taken the unprecedented stance not to allow opposition councillors to be involved in these important talks. I understand from GMB and Unison that these talks are very important.
"I spoke to other local councillors who are equally appalled with this action. We believe that we should have the opportunity to be engaged in all discussions and in fact we were elected on that mandate by the people of Boston.
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" It could potentially damage good working relationships between councillors and staff as some staff may believe that opposition councillors don't care about their welfare. We feel we have the right to know any information which is being discussed at the meeting and should have the opportunity to make our views known."
Boston Borough Council confirmed union representatives at the authority have met with management, at an early stage, to discuss proposals for changes to terms and conditions as part of the authority's continuing efforts to cut costs, maintain value for money, protect services and modernise.
The council says it is not yet at the stage where it is formally consulting with staff and it hopes there will be positive and constructive comments from the unions.
David Shamma of the GMB added: "Two to three years ago the council made temporary cuts to the some of the council's terms and conditions such as incremental pay progression, reduced sick pay and overtime. We were recently contacted and met with BBC which wants to make these terms and conditions permanent. The union thinks this is unacceptable.
"The council is also planning to make additional cuts by coming up with a new pay and grading system. From our calculations it seems like 40 per cent of staff would be worse off."
Council leader Peter Bedford, said: "The important thing is that we are protecting jobs and services. There is not any intention to reduce either."