Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Doncaster Council £500,000 staff payout: Inquiry call

A union has called for an inquiry after a council agreed to pay almost £500,000 to some staff over changes to their terms and conditions.

Doncaster Council said it had agreed to the payout to 541 members of staff to avoid a lengthy legal battle.

The council said it was right to impose the changes in 2012 which helped safeguard jobs and services.

Unison said the council had ignored its warnings it was not following the correct procedures.

'Grossly unfair'

The changes introduced by the authority were based on 2.5% maximum pay cuts, an increments freeze and car mileage and overtime reductions.

It was unable to reach an agreement with the unions and imposed the new terms on its almost 6,000 strong workforce.

The council said it had decided to reach an agreement with the small percentage of staff who had challenged the changes, claiming unfair dismissal, in order to "move forward".

Chris Jenkinson, regional manager for Unison, said: "We need an urgent inquiry so that such a situation does not arise again and senior staff in the council ensure they do what they are paid to do and at the very least comply with their legal responsibilities.

"It is grossly unfair to the people of Doncaster that they have to pay for such incompetence."

Jo Miller, chief executive of Doncaster Council, said: "The changes helped the council achieve £4.8m of needed year on year savings and at the same time safeguarded about 200 jobs and protected frontline services."

Ros Jones, who was elected Labour mayor of Doncaster in May, said: "This payment is the culmination of negotiations and events that commenced prior to my taking office."

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