Local authorities across the UK are having to cut back on spending as their budgets are reduced under the coalition government’s austerity package. As a result of the changes, some workers are losing their jobs.
However, many councils are opting to cut pay levels in a bid to reduce redundancies as much as possible, a Channel 4 News article has noted. According to political correspondent Cathy Newman, town halls in England and Wales are reducing pay and perks for some workers by up to 40 per cent.Like many other organisations, some councils may outsource their payroll solutions to payroll companies to make their lives easier.
Citing an example of the cost-cutting measures being adopted, Ms Newman drew attention to the strategy of workers at Blackpool Council. They have volunteered to take a four-day unpaid holiday, which is equivalent to a one per cent pay cut. Meanwhile, the end of free parking for council workers has been proposed, which would amount to a further one per cent reduction in spending.
Conservative council leader Peter Callow revealed that he personally lobbied prime minister David Cameron for more money but, with no sign of the additional cash, he turned to staff for ideas on how to reduce expenditure.He remarked: “We’re all in this together, this is the point, and I have to commend the unions for their attitude because they’ve adopted the right attitude in my view and they’ve been obviously keen to save jobs themselves.”
Meanwhile, Dorset County Council is forcing workers to take 12 days’ unpaid leave, while Wandsworth Council is cutting sick pay. Also, the local authority in Rhondda is reducing weekend pay rates and travel allowances and Birmingham Council is ending its 50-year-old system of enhanced pay for both night and weekend shifts.Payroll solutions are particularly tough at present. Outsourcing them to payroll companies is one way of reducing the burden.