Council staff caught up in contract trap

More than 1,000 social services staff at
Derbyshire Council will lose their jobs if they refuse to accept
new contracts which, their union claims, will see some members lose
up to £2,000 a year.

move is part of the local government “single-status” agreement to
scrap long-standing anomalies between the working conditions of
manual and non-manual employees.

council wants to scrap unsocial hours and weekend rates for staff
who are off sick, remove sleep-in pay for managers in homes for the
elderly and re-grade night care assistants. In future, most sick
pay will be based on the minimum weekly contracted hours worked and
not average hours worked.

council’s cabinet member for health and social care, councillor
Anne Western, said that after the introduction of the 37-hour week
nearly three years ago, the social services wages bill rose by 5.4
per cent. The resulting £1.1m shortfall has to be covered and
the new arrangement will help pay for it, she said.

spokesperson for the authority confirmed that staff who do not sign
the new contracts will lose their jobs.

Derbyshire Unison assistant
secretary Ann MacMillan Wood said, “The council has quoted the
impact of this agreement as the official reason for blackmailing
workers into accepting worse conditions of service or being


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