This evening I received the reports for the Integrated Transport Authority Annual General Meeting (Merseytravel), which takes place on Monday 27th June. Apart from all the usual papers and reports there is a report from the Director of Resources which talks about the Members Allowance Scheme.
The Director talks of the ‘Background’ of the report and writes: “In 2009 the Special Responsibility Allowances paid to Integrated Transport Authority Members were subject to a 5% reduction. In 2010/11 the ITA agreed some further reductions . For 2011/12 the proposal is to freeze allowances and do to some minor tidying up where appropriate.”
I’m thinking thats ok, until I see that the minor tidying up, is to increase the allowance paid to the Chair of the Womens Forum by 63% and to introduce an additional payment of £3688.85 for a Deputy Chair of the Womens Forum. I don’t call that minor!
At the same time as this proposal is going forward, Job Evaluation results have been published which show that 33 Mersey Tunnel Toll operatives are likely to lose around £2,000 per year and a further 69 member of staff are also facing huge reductions in pay.
Now I have fully supported the need for change and have publicly endorsed the One Team One Family process,(OTOF), Single Status, harmonisation and job evaluation, however I can’t stand by and watch Members allowances being increased by any amount, even those described as ‘Minor’ when some of the lowest paid in the Authority are having their wages slashed by huge amounts.
As leader of the Conservatives on the Authority our group will be voting against these obscene proposals. I hope that Labour and the Lib Dems will join with us next week, if they don’t then the message to the staff is clear! Yep its the headline Joe!!!