A ROW has broken out after Lancashire county council agreed to fund a new post for a trade union official whilst preparing to make a further £65m cuts to council services.
The behind closed doors decision to second a staff member to public services union Unison for two years was criticised by Tory group leader County Coun. Geoff Driver who said costs could have been used to save a job or jobs: “When they are making cuts to services and making people redundant it just seems crazy. It seems entirely the wrong thing to do.”
But the council’s Deputy Leader Coun. David Borrow defended the move and said: “The county council is giving support to the staff of the county council as it goes through the transformation process which means staff are leaving the employment of the council. We have set up a small team to give advice and support to staff members and we are also assisting the trade unions to deal with the extra burdens placed on them in manning this process. This is to the advantage of both the staff and the council and is what any employer seeking to operate in a professional and caring manner would do.”
Unison’s county secretary Elaine Cotterell said: “They will need the trade unions. The council has to go through statutory consultation with the workforce.”
She said it was more cost effective and less disruptive to the workplace have an officer seconded for the many consultations ahead.