Friday, December 08, 2006

GMB exposes Lincs County Council as nation's biggest spenders on temps...

Lincolnshire County Council tops the national league on costs of temporary and agency staff, according to figures collected by the GMB trade union.

As well as spending more than any of 434 UK local authorities where figures have been collected, it seems astonishing that our council managed to spend £54.5 million of our money on temporary and agency staff last year.

Lincolnshire spending on temps is FIVE times higher than neighbouring Notts County Council which was second highest spender in the East Midlands at £9.3 million.

Of the total £76.8 million spent by the five shire counties across the East Midlands, more than two thirds is spent by Lincolnshire – with Northants on £6.4 million, Leicestershire on £3.8 million and Derbyshire on £2.8 million.

The GMB believe Council spending on temporary and agency staff generally represents very bad value for money for the public.

They point out that in most cases the only winners are the employment agencies who take a considerable slice of this money for administration and profits.

The temporary staff meanwhile get paid less than the permanent staff whilst the councils pay more to the agency than it would cost to employ the workers direct.

I'll be asking questions...

3 comments:

Neil Foster said...

You're right Phil - this is a big issue. Temporary and agency jobs are much less likely to be unionised and more likely to have poor conditions.

Last week Jon Cruddas MP put down an excellent early day motion on agency workers. Readers should encourage your MP to sign up to EDM 331. Details here:

http://www.joncruddas.org.uk/wordpress/?p=35

fairdealphil said...

neil:

thanks. i shall look with interest t5o see whether our Tory MP signs the motion...

Liz said...

Lost my comment so briefly repeating.

a. Surely agency/temporary staff are to cover long term sickness/maternity leave. This figure could not possibly cost so much money.

b. I was unaware that there was a recruiting problem in the county. Large cities have a need for agency staff because of the delays in recruiting. Can the Council demonstrate there is such a problem.

c. Are the Council using temporary staff rather than employment. Do they consider this cheaper as it does not attract employers contributions to pensions, insurance etc.

d. What are the protocols for approving temporary staff. Can any department ask for them if they are going through a busy period.

e. Is there a ban on overtime.

f. I thought all expenditure had to be assessed under value for money criteria.

g. Are lawyers. consultancy fees included in this sum.

h. Which department employs the bulk of such staff and why?

How can the council ask us for above inflation council tax rises when they are using our money in this way.

Thank you for raising this Phil and for your promise to get to the bottom of the matter. I will await your comment. Would it help if I asked for this under FOI?

I shall read the motion by Jon Cruddas later. Thank goodness someone has raised it in the House.