Union calls for mass picket at Shire Hall to protest over 25 per cent pay rise for councillors

UNION bosses have called for a mass picket of Shire Hall, Cambridge, on Tuesday as county councillors arrive to vote on a 25 per cent pay increase in their allowances.

Terry Parr, branch secretary of local government workers’ union Unison, accused the council of being “incredibly insensitive to suggest these increases now” at a time when his members were losing their jobs.

Pay for his members were being frozen whilst for others it was case of “probably having to work longer and pay more for a smaller pension. To then go on and justify this in recognition of councillors doing more with less is doubly insulting because employees are being expected to do more for less every day.”

Mr Parr found some support from Tory county councillor Steve Tierney who had said earlier this year he had “no desire to increase the allowance amount. I did not get involved in politics for financial reasons.”

On Twitter this morning he said his views had not changed “and I will be making my case to group and at council as I have been up until now.”

Councillor Samantha Hoy, also on Twitter, re-iterated the pay review had been recommended by an independent panel.

She said people needed to remember “it’s a nine year deal as we haven’t had a rise for five years and a review won’t happen again for four years”.

Most Read

Councillor Martin Curtis, Cabinet member for adult services, said: “I have always previously supported independent allowances review – it is the right way of settling allowances.”

Unison, however, says the �1,890 a year increase in allowances is too much and they remain unhappy with the new pay package of around �38,000 for leader Nick Clarke.

Mr Parr said: “Why are councillors proposing an increase in their allowances when everyone else is constantly being told ‘we are all in this together’”?

He said councillors have been offered a free vote allowance increase “and it is important that they are aware of the strength of feeling of Unison members and their constituents prior to the vote.”