The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Coun­cil staff’s fight for out­stand­ing back pay still un­re­solved

Work­ers: Union claims au­thor­ity sit­ting on es­ti­mated £500,000

- BY ALIS­TAIR MUNRO Society · Labor Rights · Social Issues · GMB Union · European Union

Around a fifth of High­land Coun­cil staff are still seek­ing pay­ment of out­stand­ing back pay, ac­cord­ing to union chiefs who claim the au­thor­ity is sit­ting on an es­ti­mated £500,000 owed to them.

The GMB union said there was an agree­ment reached dat­ing back to 2015, but while over­time pay­ments have been made, many re­gard­ing an­nual leave back pay have not.

A spokesman said: “Hav­ing worked with the coun­cil to agree the ad­di­tional 8.3% go­ing for­ward for staff, we are dis­ap­pointed that we have not been able to agree the amount of back pay re­lat­ing to an­nual leave that re­mains out­stand­ing to staff.

“We con­tinue in our com­mit­ment to work­ing with the coun­cil to find a res­o­lu­tion and en­cour­age the coun­cil to swiftly con­firm any back pay owed to staff.”

The amount in ques­tion is claimed to be in the re­gion of £500,000 in re­lat­ing to an­nual leave – mainly from roads, refuse, ameni­ties, main­te­nance,

“We con­tinue in our com­mit­ment towork­ing­with the coun­cil to find a res­o­lu­tion to this”

plumbers, so­cial care work­ers, clean­ers.

A source said the work­ers in line for pay­ments are staff from roads, refuse and ameni­ties, main­te­nance staff, plumbers, elec­tri­cians, join­ers, so­cial care work­ers in chil­dren’s homes, cooks, clean­ers and jan­i­to­rial staff.

Unions bosses be­lieve this could amount to 20% of all High­land Coun­cil staff.

The ar­gu­ment re­lates to pay­ments dat­ing back to April 2015, but pay­ments only started be­ing made in 2018.

Un­der EU rules the agree­ment will only ap­ply to 20 days of the year but the union says it is still money that is owed and the coun­cil will have to bud­get for.

A spokesman for High­land Coun­cil said: “The coun­cil has an agree­ment in place to fa­cil­i­tate the pay­ment of holiday pay re­lated to ad­di­tional hours, such as over­time and standby pay­ment.

“We are al­ready in dis­cus­sion with the trade unions to set­tle a num­ber of out­stand­ing claims for back­dated holiday pay.

“The next meet­ing is sched­uled for the end of Novem­ber.”

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