Cannan gives ‘two-fingered salute’ to govt manual staff

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

Tynwald buildings, Douglas

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The pay rise for civil servants can only be funded by job losses or cuts in services, the Chief Minister has insisted.

Allan Bell, who says he has turned down the 2.5 per cent pay rise, said: ‘Undoubtedly it will lead to job losses.’

The pay rise of 0.5 per cent for this year backdated to April and 2 per cent for the next financial year was agreed through conciliation between the Civil Service Commission and the civil service union Prospect, whose members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal. It will cost government departments an extra £2 million.

But it has prompted a furious response from the Unite union which pointed out that manual workers had agreed a pay freeze in return for no redundancies until April this year.

Unite’s regional industrial officer Eric Holmes said Alfred Cannan, chairman of the Civil Service Commission, had given a ‘two fingered salute to the manual worker’ by giving the ‘bosses and himself a 2 per cent pay rise for 2014’.

Mr Bell said government had honoured the guarantee of no job losses to Whitley Council manual workers while civil servants had opted for a pay rise with no guarantee of job security.

He said the creation of a new Public Services Commission, replacing both Whitley Council and the Civil Service Commission, would provide a single starting point for negotiating wage settlements and would mean ‘this sort of wrangling between manual and non-manual workers ought to become a thing of the past’.

All Tynwald members, whose pay is linked to civil service rates, will also get the pay rise. It will cost an estimated £8,000 extra this year and £32,000 next year.

Deputy Clerk of Tynwald Jonathan King said the money would have to ‘come from the public purse one way or the other’.

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