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Cash-strapped council’s £38,000 job offer
5:34am Sunday 4th March 2007 in News
UNION leaders have condemned council bosses for trying to attract a £38,000-a-year "reward specialist" when thousands of staff are in line for a pay cut and 167 carers face the axe.
The advert for the post in Hampshire County Coun-cil's human resources department says the influential role in the "remuneration and benefits team" will help push through major changes to its reward arrangements.
It comes as the council has written to each of its 27,000 employees to unveil a new wage structure to close the pay gap between male and female workers.
Meanwhile cash-strapped council chiefs are axing 172 adult carer jobs as part of a controversial plan to save £14m.
The Daily Echo has launched a Justice for Carers campaign in the wake of the situation in Hampshire and in Southampton, where care workers have announced plans for another strike from March 9 to 12.
A petition launched by the paper has already attracted hundreds of signatures.
Anne Chandler, regional organiser for the GMB union, which represents about 1,000 council workers, said hiring a reward specialist in the current climate was "abhorrent", "It's appalling at this time when we've got members, if this pay and grading is accepting, who will lose £2,000, £3,000, £4,000 a year," she said.
"Should the council really be bringing in someone in a fictitious role that nobody understands what they do?", she added.
Unison branch secretary Julie Murdoch, who represents about 5,400 members, said: "It just doesn't make sense when they are cutting a lot of pay from some people and home carers are being lost.
"Should they be spending that amount of money on one member of staff?"
Asked to clarify the role, a Hampshire County Council spokesman said: "The role will be part of our remuneration and benefits team.
"The team manages the evaluation process and advises on pay, reward and benefit areas across the diverse population of Hampshire County Council.
"It will also support us in moving forward with the new pay framework."
The spokesman said the job would fill a vacancy due to a recent resignation.
The role attracts a salary of between £29,000 and £38,000 depending on skill and experience.
You can download a copy of the Daily Echo's Justice for Carers petition by logging on to www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/campaigns