Happy days for Greenwich Council staff, as it’s emerged they’re all being given an extra day off to mark the authority winning the “council of the year” prize from the Local Government Chronicle industry mag a couple of weeks ago.
No doubt it’ll come as a welcome respite from the regime of cuts, cuts, cuts at the council, including a threat to sign new contracts or be sacked, and a new computer system that’s been working so poorly it’s seriously disrupted the council’s business.
Not so fortunate, though, are staff of council contractor GS Plus, the firm which employs many people carrying out council services, including drivers, cleaners and caterers.
The council’s directly-employed staff benefit from the minimum £8.55/hour London Living Wage – as endorsed by Boris Johnson, no less – but there’s no such luck for GS Plus staff, eight out of 10 of whom live within the borough. It’s a big miss, and means Greenwich doesn’t qualify as a living wage employer, unlike its neighbours Lewisham and Southwark.
Perhaps the council could discuss this further with GS Plus’s chairman, council deputy leader Peter Brooks, and its owner, the Royal Borough of Greenwich – somehow, they might be able to sort something out…