Don't make the same staff mistakes as the county council - union urges new Northamptonshire unitary

Unison is urging the new shadow unitary authorities to protect staff pay and conditions.
Unison is urging the new shadow unitary authorities to protect staff pay and conditions.

The two new councils being created in Northamptonshire must provide 'fair pay and working conditions' to hire and keep hold of staff - a workers' union has urged.

In May, the Government gave the go-ahead for a merger between the troubled Northamptonshire County Council and the seven borough and district councils in order to create two new unitary authorities in the west and north of the county.

Yesterday (Monday) councillors from across North Northamptonshire met for the first time to discuss setting up the north shadow authority, one of the interim bodies that will take over until the new councils are properly established. This new body will deliver services across Corby, East Northamptonshire, Wellingborough and Kettering.

UNISON, the largest union representing staff working at Northamptonshire’s councils, is now calling for assurances that councillors on the new shadow board will protect the pay and conditions of staff in the new unitary council.

Branch secretary of UNISON’s East Northamptonshire branch, Palden Dorje, said: “One of the key reasons for the financial crisis in the county council has been its failure to recruit and retain staff. This has not been the same in the districts and boroughs.

“Staff want to know that the new authority has learnt from past mistakes. To do this it should make a commitment to protect the pay and conditions of the existing and new staff needed to make a success of local government in Northamptonshire.

“UNISON is urging local residents and council employees across Northamptonshire to contact their local councillors in writing or by email to ask for assurances that local services and loyal staff won’t pay the price for the failings of Northamptonshire County Council.”