AN attempt to directly employ twenty-two agency staff working in Carmarthenshire theatres who lost their job with just one week of pay has been defeated by Plaid and Independent Councillors.
Last month, half of the theatre staff working in Carmarthenshire Council theatres were left without pay after Carmarthenshire Council cut the contingent workers scheme in a row over furloughing with an employment agency.
A motion tabled by Carmarthenshire Labour Leader, Cllr Rob James, sought to directly employ the staff members, effectively bringing the service in-house.
The motion also sought complete a full review into the use of agency staff within Carmarthenshire Council with claims that the practice was costing millions to the taxpayers of Carmarthenshire.
Cllr Rob James, speaking in the debate stated “As a County Council, we have a moral obligation to agency workers commissioned to provide council services and we should be leading the way in the County demonstrating best practice to support the workforce and offer value for money.
Peter Hill, GMB Regional Organiser stated: “It’s hugely disappointing to our members that the Plaid/Independent leadership decided to vote against this motion. Over 20 staff have been left without pay for several weeks now due to this situation. The motion brought by Cllr James and backed by the labour group could have resolved the situation and provided the support our members desperately need”
“The Local Authority have been over-using agencies like Randstad for years, at a huge cost to the taxpayer. While the direct responsibility is with Randstad, it was the Council’s decision to cut payments to staff despite the Welsh Government allowing local authorities to reclaim these expenses. The Council has a moral duty to these workers which it is shirking. GMB will continue to campaign on this issue, and its not the last councillors who voted against this motion will hear on it.”
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