Hundreds of Caerphilly council workers ,walked out of their offices yesterday against the awarding of secret huge pay rises to their bosses.
Around 350 council employees assembled on the approach road to their headquarters at Ystrad Mynach, while several hundred more did the same at other offices across the county borough.
The collective expression of anger, organised by their union Unison, followed revelations last week that 20 senior managers were awarded pay rises of up to 30% at a time when most workers are on the third year of a pay freeze.
Much of the outrage about the rises is directed at Mr O’Sullivan, who wrote the unpublished report that recommended the increases for himself and his senior colleagues. In Mr O’Sullivan’s case, the rise was one of up to £35,000, bringing his annual salary to £158,000
The £35,000 would safely pay the yearly wages of one of those protesting .
This outrage has come after Labour won control of Caerphilly council last year and one wonders whether Unison contributed to that campaign for Labour ?
The row over these r huge pay rises for top managers at a time of wage freezes for the lowest paid workers emerged the rises of up to 30% for 20 top managers at Caerphilly council were approved at a secret meeting in September following a report written by chief executive Anthony O’Sullivan.
Mr O’Sullivan himself received a pay rise of up to £35,000, taking his salary to around £158,000.
Colin Mann, leader of the authority’s opposition Plaid Cymru group, said that
" In addition to the outrage felt by the rest of the staff, around 30 managers felt they had been discriminated against by not being included in the rises.The suspicion is that Labour have decided to make these extraordinary pay rises to keep selected senior management on side and make sure of their support over the next four years of running the Council.
Mr Mann said: “The managers who missed out on these increases are a crucial part of the workforce and included in the same ‘Hay’ pay scale banding structure as their better paid colleagues who got a rise".
“Some of them have spoken to me and said they cannot understand why they were excluded from the rises.
“This whole episode has been absolutely disastrous for morale within the authority, which is now at rock bottom.”
Much of this reflects the problem with Labours dominance of Welsh Politics . They control the councils and both the Member of Parliament and Assembly Member are Labour.who would have been screaming from the rooftops if it had been Plaid who did this.
It is incredible that Labour after a brief period where it lost control of a number of Welsh Councils have returned to their old arrogance . They never seem to learn any lessons. But why should they ?.
In a few years Unison. the union which led yesterday protest will be plastering their offices with Labour Posters and given financial backing to that party and in some ways their and other unions constant support for Labour means that they must share some responsibility for this scandal.
The Unions cannot go on backing Labour moaning about their abuses of their members when the part is in power and then backing them once again.
They are are like the victims of abuse who stay with their abuser and attack anyone else who tries to help them.
Labour will ride this out they can safely ignore the protest of the ordinary worker and with the Senior Management bought of will expect no problems from them.
What we have seen in Caerphilly, is how Labour believe that it is the only party that should run things in Wales and that it is above criticism.
Even when they are thrown out of power they return very quickly to their old ways ones they regain it and they do deserve or receive our support unless they really change their ways and frankly I see no prospect of this even in the long term.