SBC right to keep wages down

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Scottish Borders Council is right (for once) to keep wages down.

When the majority of workers in the region are on minimum wage and part-time contracts, why should council employees get paid any more?

And enhanced rates for weekend and shift working – what is that all about?

I work in retail, and have done all my working life, and it has never paid above the minimum wage.

I work weekends (every weekend) and get no extra pay, and work shifts and finish late at night (no extra for that either).

So why should council workers expect enhanced rates that I have to pay for in the end through my council tax?

Councillors, who earn huge amounts for expenses and travel etc., are on treble what I earn.

There are many places where councillors, if they so desired, could save loads of money – but there is none so blind as those who do not want to see.

Given the chance, I would love to work full-time with the council on minimum wage rather than have a part-time job in retail.

And politics should be kept out of local government. It should be exactly what it says on the tin, “local”, and councillors should be fighting for the Borders, not towing party lines.

Kevin Currie

Denholm

Borders Conservatives are clearly embarrassed by their new policy of compulsory redundancies for Scottish Borders Council (SBC) staff.

Having announced this policy in your pages two weeks ago, all the local Tories wrote you a letter last week to defend it, arguing that “the option of compulsory redundancy does not mean enforced job losses”.

They accuse the SBC administration of misrepresenting their proposal, but their own leader publicly declared support for compulsory redundancy, and she and her party are now the ones misrepresenting. Compulsory redundancy is enforced job losses.

Surely it is a sensible use of council taxpayers’ money to reduce SBC costs by helping those who want to retire early to do so. Council staff and other public-sector workers have endured years of pay freezes in part because of an understanding that there would be no compulsory redundancies.

It is irresponsible of local Tories to threaten council staff with enforced job losses.

Borderers respect our public-sector workers and we don’t like our money to be wasted. Perhaps that’s why Tories don’t get elected.

Harry Cummings

Earlston

Regarding the letter published last week from Tory councillors in reply to the SBC administration’s “misrepresentation” of their spending-cut plans.

Can any of the following – Michelle Ballantyne, Nathaniel Buckingham, Zandra Elliot, Jim Fullarton, John Greenwell, Gavin Logan, Simon Mountford, Sandy Scott, George Turnbull or Tom Weatherston – please explain what “having the option of compulsory redundancy does not mean enforced job losses’’ actually means?

I think they know, SBC employees know, your readers know and, hopefully, the voters know that enforced job losses are exactly what it means.

An ‘’open, honest and inclusive culture’’ would indeed be a fantastic environment to be part of, but is it ever likely to be the case with so many Tory councillors being, quite obviously, ‘’economical with the truth’’?

Peter Sanders

Kelso