IN January Gwynedd County Council’s cabinet decided that staff would enjoy an extra day’s holiday to mark Wales’ national celebration. The extra bank holiday will cost the council around £200,000. The move followed Westminster refusing to devolve powers to the Welsh Government to decide national holidays.
In a further statement the Council confirmed that teachers will not be given an additional day’s bank holiday, a day off in-lieu or extra pay to mark St David’s Day. This is despite classroom assistants enjoying a St David’s Day bank-holiday bonus payment.
Gwynedd Council has also announced schools will remain open and that day-to-day services in the county, such as bins and recycling, will continue on St David’s Day.
Council offices will close, and office staff will enjoy a day at home or out and about while staff working in vital services will instead be given an extra day off in-lieu.
A Gwynedd Council spokesman explained:
“Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet has decided that its workers should receive an additional day’s holiday this year to celebrate St David, Wales’ patron saint. It is also a part of a wider campaign by the Council’s members to try and ensure that the 1st of March is a designated bank holiday for the people of Wales in due course.
“The Council’s workers, that work to local government terms and conditions, will receive a day’s holiday on the 1st of March 2022, on which Gwynedd Council offices will be closed for the day.
“Any staff who will be working on 1 March (care staff, waste and recycling teams, etc) will have the additional day to take on another date.
“The Council does not have the authority to allocate an additional day’s leave to the authority’s teachers – the terms and conditions of teachers are discussed and formed at a national level and therefore the Council does not have the authority to issue the additional day to those staff members. The terms and conditions of classroom assistants are discussed locally here in Gwynedd, and therefore those staff members and other supporting staff members that work in our schools, do have the right to this additional day’s leave. However, as classroom assistants and school supporting staff work to a school term, it’s not possible for them to take the 1st of March as a day off or take the day on another date. Therefore, those staff members will receive an adjustment in their pay for this year.”
Gwynedd Cllr Alwyn Gruffydd welcomed the plans.
“It’s a long time coming, isn’t it? St David was alive in the sixth century. We’ve been waiting 1,500 years. I’m all for it,” he said.
“Of course there is disparity. The teachers have their own contracts.
“We should have a day off to celebrate St David’s Day. We’ve got to remember our history. Unfortunately, if children won’t hear about St David’s Day in school, they won’t know about it at all. I would like to see this become a national holiday. You would think a council like Gwynedd would be enthusiastic about a St David’s Day bank holiday, wouldn’t you?”
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