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Workers protest in Dickens country over Hard Times for council staff

17 Feb 2022
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GMB, the biggest school support staff union in Medway, have slammed the council for their derisory offer to compensate workers on term-time only contracts for years of miscalculated annual leave.   

The union has been pursuing compensation claims for their members, predominantly lower paid women, and the latest offer from the council falls well below the rate offered by neighbouring councils for the same thing.   

Members are being balloted on whether to accept this offer, which although it remains open appears to be strongly in favour of rejecting.  The ballot closes on Friday 4 March. 

The union are organising a demonstration outside the full Council meeting with all councillors responsible, for this offer, attending.  

The details are as follows:-   

Thursday 24 February 2022, 6pm -7.30pm   

St George's Centre, Pembroke Road, Chatham Maritime,  

Chatham, Kent. ME4 4UH  

Mick Simpkin, GMB Regional Organiser said:   

“We'll put this offer to members, but GMB’s view is that it is not enough.  

“Medway council needs to address historic underpayments to low paid, predominantly female staff employed in their schools. Failure to reach a satisfactory settlement could leave the council open sex discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal”     

“The offer from Medway council is lowest of any local authority we have dealt with and Kent next door offered twice the settlement being offered by Medway.  

“It really doesn’t seem fair that you get half the amount for working on the wrong side of an imaginary line in the road.   

“In the heart of Dickens country, the council needs to have a bit of self-awareness, offering such a miserly and Scrooge-like compensation package in these hard times.   

“We would encourage all members to come along to our friendly demonstration and show management how you feel about their offer, with children of course welcome too.”   

 
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