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Farron challenges County Council leader to spend a day with him and single status staff

July 12, 2011 4:00 PM

Tim Farron MP at Kendal Nursery SchoolSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has challenged Cumbria County Council leader Eddie Martin to spend a day with him doing a job of a member of staff whose pay will be slashed under the council's controversial Single Status plans.

Yesterday, Council leader Eddie Martin on a visit to Kirkby Stephen Grammar school admitted for the first time that communication with their staff had been flawed. This follows the recent admission by Councillor Liz Mallinson, the cabinet member responsible for the changes, that the single-status had damaged the morale of staff.

The council says the average pay cut is £3,390 but they admit at least one employee will lose £13,500 under their plans. Two weeks ago Tim wrote to council leader Cllr Eddie Martin asking him to suspend the deeply controversial single status plans.

Tim said: "On single status the County Council has got things very wrong. But they seem to be the only ones not to see it. I am asking Eddie Martin today to do a few things to put things right. I want to see him write to all schools and council departments and instruct that staff salaries should reflect the salaries budget. If the council is still paying the same amount of salaries this year as last, then why can't they tell departments to keep people's pay the same? I also want them to put teaching assistants into a separate job group.

"There is also a pay review board still on the statue book, so I am surprised that Eddie and other Conservative-Labour councillors in the cabinet at the County Council have not asked the government to start the board up again; even after months and months of supposed activity I'd like him to do that today and show he is actually acting and not just talking. If he doesn't, I will, when I meet government ministers next week."