The recent pay talks between unions and the Council have reached a poor settlement. Low paid workers on the Council cannot afford to live on the pay packets awarded them for their hard work.
The excuse that the authority cannot afford to pay is a travesty and should not be accepted. A Living Wage is a right and the essential work that these workers carry out must be sustained.
The people of the Isle of Wight and other workers realise that money must be found for essential social programmes and public services.
Workers in all sectors are interested in the rights of all. They also know that an injury to one section of workers is an injury to all.
Standards cannot be allowed to fall.
Some workers are now either having to rely on supplementary benefits, which often cannot be obtained. In some cases family support, food parcels and other assistance if it is available. This cannot be allowed to pass.Some cannot afford their cars and have given them up, or cannot afford the high bus fares.The situation is becoming intolerable.
The employment committee recently signed off the poor pay deal with 1,266 employees receiving a pay rise and 455 receiving a pay cut.Of these 86 will lose 10% or more of their pay.
Union negotiators have said that there wasn’t much on the table to make a deal with.The current estimate of the Living Wage is £7.85p per hour but the authority management is refusing to implement it.
The decision by the employment committee has to be reversed urgently.
The real injustice is that the £130,000 required by the Council and worse still has been put down to “affordability”. The schools also must find the money to pay their workers and so should the Council pay their employees, by other means if necessary.
The decision-makers are ducking and diving around the issue and basing their present position on avoidance of uncomfortable decisions that only serve the Government and its Austerity programme.
The correct decision should be made by preserving the valuable jobs by paying for the workers’ right to exist in these occupations.
The idea that one person’s pay increase is another person’s job loss is an old hat that doesn’t hold water kind of argument.In fact improving job quality through pay is the biggest argument for sustaining them and creating more. Outsourcing jobs usually means buying in expensive labour with less skill attached. These jobs and employments at the moment are clearly not sustainable under these pay arrangements and must be altered.
The real decision-makers must be the people of the Isle of Wight instead of the narrow opinions of the local authority management.