Humberside

North Lincolnshire Council plans to cut union post

A council wants to cut a full-time union convenor's job to create jobs for youngsters.

North Lincolnshire Council leader Liz Redfern said the move would save the authority £50,000 a year and it hoped to use the money to pay for 10 additional apprenticeship places.

But Unison said the salary of the convenor's full-time post was £25,000.

It claims a part-time post of GMB's union convenor, employed by the council, is also under threat.

Melanie Onn, Unison's regional organiser, said: "This is such a fundamental issue that it should be properly debated in the council. It seems that so far the decision has been Councillor Redfern's alone whereas it should be a matter for all elected members to have a say in.

"There is no practical advantage or financial saving to be gained from this.

"If the convenor's role is scrapped it will inevitably lead to more expensive legal disputes in Employment Tribunals and other avoidable legal cases, such as private prosecutions."

'Job opportunities'

The full-time post is elected by local Unison members and the convenor's sole responsibility is to carry out trade union duties at the council.

Conservative Ms Redfern said: "This is about a unique opportunity for our young people and I'm very proud of what we're doing.

"You only have to ask the public what they want for their young people and they want opportunities for jobs."

She said she hoped the union would "support and pay for a union convenor" through members' contributions.

Unison said the full-time post enabled the union convenor to understand the council's policies "inside out" and had prevented any "major industrial problem" from developing at the authority since it was established in 1996.

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