Union pay probe call

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 £325,000 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 made the payments rather than going to an Employment Tribunal – which UNISON says could have cost council tax payers £5 million.

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

Chief executive Jo Miller said: “In settling these cases, the council has not accepted that it has failed in its legal duties or dismissed anyone unfairly, far from it. A deal was done to minimise the risks of litigation.”

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