Nia Griffith MP and Keith Davies AM are calling on the County Council to postpone the deadline for employees to sign up to new contracts, to give everyone more time to take advice on the implications, and to see if there are ways in which employees can be cushioned from the worst effects.

Following the job evaluation which all councils have been obliged to undertake to tackle the problem of historic inequalities and anomalies, employees of Carmarthenshire Council have this month received notification of their new pay and conditions which will leave a third of council employees worse off.

Nia Griffith MP commented

“The Council has seriously underestimated the impact of these wage cuts on council employees. The Council has made matters worse by combining the job evaluation changes with cuts in the rates paid to staff for working anti-social hours and cutting their petrol money by 25%.

“This comes at a particularly bad time for employees, following recent pay freezes, and at a time of rocketing food and fuel prices made worse by the Tory Government’s VAT hike, cuts in childcare payments, disastrous economic policies and excessive cuts which mean there is no hope of staff picking up better jobs elsewhere.  Staff feel that they are being bullied into signing new contracts; they have had less than a month which is just not long enough for everyone to have the chance to take advice and think through the implications. The first step is to postpone the deadline for employees to sign up to the new schemes until at least the end of November, which will give everyone time to think , to consult and see if there are ways that employees can be cushioned better against the effects.”

Keith Davies AM said

“These are not the fat cats – we are seeing people on low and modest incomes facing cuts of several thousand pounds in their wages, when even the cuts in mileage allowance are leaving people worrying about whether they can even afford to run a car to carry out their work duties for example workers in social services.

“Many staff at the lower end of the pay-scale are very worried by the council’s ‘take it or leave it’ approach.    They deserve better.  These hard working civil servants are on the one hand being praised for the often difficult jobs they do and then they receive an ultimatum like this.  I welcome Nia Griffith’s call for greater consultation and more time for this to be discussed. For the sake of the staff, I hope that Council Leader Meryl Gravell will confirm this is the case at full council on Wednesday.”