Unions hit back on pay

TORY claims that trade unions should not receive money from Kirklees Council have been slammed by union bosses.

Kirklees Conservatives are to submit a motion to the council next month calling for an end to payments from the council to union shop stewards on the payroll.

There are more than 12,500 council staff who are represented by one of eight unions, with Unison representing over 8,000.

Last week, Tory leader Coun Robert Light claimed the council pays £339,000 to cover the costs of nine seconded members, who represent members on issues like working conditions, grievances and negotiations with the council.

Kirklees Unison branch secretary Paul Holmes said the motion is part of a Tory plan to ‘shackle’ unions across the country.

“The Tory group in Kirklees is merely doing David Cameron’s bidding,” Mr Holmes said.

“Given the current economic and political climate, it is hardly surprising that the Tory group is submitting a motion which is either a cheap publicity gimmick or a serious attempt to undermine the organisation of ordinary working people in Kirklees, or both.

“This motion is not a local issue. The motion has been circulated to Tory groups in councils across Britain as the government seeks to shackle Unison in whatever way they can from representing its members.”

Mr Holmes added that Unison will be working with the council on 62 reviews that will be carried out into staffing levels over the next two years.

“If this motion is serious, it is a co-ordinated attempt to attack workers’ representation.”

The motion is due to be discussed by the council on September 14, where the Conservatives will hope to gain cross-party support.