Aneurin Leisure Trust staff in libraries, entertainment venues, parks and leisure centres across Blaenau Gwent have rejected a revised offer to improve wages by 1.5 per cent. They are angry that Trust executives have spent thousands of pounds on gimmicks whilst claiming there is not enough money to provide a decent pay rise.
Receptionists, caterers, lifeguards, librarians and others at the Trust, have not had a cost of living pay rise since April 2016 and UNISON says some staff have been forced to use foodbanks. Employees have already voted in favour of taking strike action and are frustrated at the following expenditure, which the trade union says could have boosted the pay rise to a reasonable level.
- £14,000 on a perk box loyalty card for all members of staff which provides discounts for amongst others, washing machines, three-piece suites and take -away coffee.
- £900 on a Perspex charity collection box which will stand in the tea room at Bedwellty House and Park (and collects donations from the public for Aneurin Leisure Trust)
Ian Robins, UNISON Blaenau Gwent branch secretary said,
“Staff can’t understand why executives would prioritise the spending of thousands of pounds on frivolous, unnecessary things which do nothing to help employee’s squeezed family budgets.
“Staff are struggling to put food on the table so what use is a loyalty card that will give you a hundred quid off a sofa or a few pence off a cappuccino?
“Staff feel senior managers are out of touch with reality. Rather than waste money on gimmicks, this money could have boosted the pay offer.
“Strike action is scheduled for 7 November and we need the Trust to return to the negotiating table with an offer that properly rewards their hard-working staff.”
Notes for editors
- A UNISON ballot for industrial action resulted in an 88.1 per cent vote in favour on a turnout of 69 per cent.
- September inflation rate (RPI) is 3.3 per cent.
- GMB and Unite are also consulting their members
- The trade unions commenced negotiations with Aneurin Leisure Trust for a cost of living pay rise for all staff in January.
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 53 83 97
Photo credit: Tracey Paddison