Union calls on Mayor Jones to investigate £500,000 council wages fiasco

Mayor Ros Jones
Mayor Ros Jones

Union chiefs are calling on Doncaster mayor Ros Jones to investigate after the council was forced to pay out £500,000 in a wages mix-up.

The authority has reached a settlement with Unison, Unite and GMB affecting 541 council employees whose pay was wrongly handled during changes to their terms and conditions last year.

Union chiefs have called for an inquiry, claiming the council failed in its legal duty to properly implement cuts.

UNISON regional manager Chris Jenkinson said: “The council paid staff under their old contracts during their notice period but then clawed the money straight back before their notice had even expired.

“This ‘robbed’ them of their right to lawful notice.Those who claimed unfair dismissal and illegal withholding of pay will receive nearly £1,000 each, which includes a £500 compensation payment and the money that was deducted from wages reimbursed.”

The authority has agreed to make the payments rather than going to an Employment Tribunal – which UNISON says could have cost Doncaster Council Tax payers up to £5 million.

He added: “We need an urgent inquiry so such a situation does not arise again.”

Council chief executive, Jo Miller, said: “The council has always maintained it had the right to make the changes and they were fair and reasonable given the scale of cuts we faced.”

Mayor Jones, said the events happened before she took office, adding : “The reductions in Government funding along and economic climate has put local authorities under tremendous pressure.”