A motion that sought to enhance the pay of North Ayrshire Council’s low-earning staff was rejected at last week’s meeting of the full Council after the mover declined to accept a delay to the proposal.
In seeking to enhance the salaries of the Council’s lowest-paid staff, Cllr Cullinane’s motion stated the £250 consolidated payments should be made “at the earliest opportunity”.
However, while indicating his sympathies for the motion, Cllr Willie Gibson, SNP Leader of the Council, raised concerns regarding the wording that required delivery of the payments “at the earliest opportunity”. Cllr Gibson made clear he was not against workers receiving the payment but indicated it may take time to identify and allocate the required funding.
The Council Leader’s position was supported by his predecessor in the previous administration, Labour’s David O’Neill, who suggested it might be appropriate for the Council to work towards factoring the consolidated payments into the next budget, which will be set in February 2013.
Other councillors, including Ardrossan & Arran Independent John Hunter, were concerned that the proposed payments excluded the Council’s lowest-paid workers, modern apprentices.
In summing up for his motion, Cllr Cullinane indicated his determination that payments should be made to workers as soon as possible, and certainly before February of next year. However, a majority of councillors were not convinced of the argument for payments ahead of the next budget, and the motion was defeated.