Call for pay parity for Strabane staff

Guildhall.
Guildhall.

Pay disparities between Derry City & Strabane District Council workers from Derry and Strabane who do the same job but are on different rates of pay should be addressed through local authority surpluses, according to one councillor.

Independent councillor, Paul Gallagher, issued the call as DC&SDC’s Lead Finance Officer, Alfie Dallas, said the Council had generated a £375,000 surplus for the first three months of 2018/19.

Mr. Dallas, in a report to the Council’s Governance and Strategic Planning Committee this week, said the savings would be reinvested in progressing the Council’s capital plan and other corporate priorities.

Colr. Gallagher, however, said he believed the money should be used to equalise pay disparities that are a consequence of differences between contracts signed by former workers of the old Derry City Council, and those signed by former workers of the old Strabane District Council.

“We have some legacy issues,” said Colr. Gallagher.

“As an employer we have people doing the same job who are on different rates of pay.”

Colr. Gallagher said money should be set aside from the surplus to address this issue.

Chief Executive, John Kelpie, acknowledged that pay parity was an issue but he said it was one that was being addressed under a process headed up by the Council’s Lead Human Resources Officer, Paula Donnelly.

Mr. Kelpie said that this had been raised during the Council senior management team’s bimonthly meeting with the trade unions on Monday.

He said the process will involve looking at pay grades across the board and will be undertaken in full consultation with the unions.