Staff hold a scrooge rally at Cambridgeshire County Council

Staff protest outside County Hall in Cambridge

Staff protest outside County Hall in Cambridge - Credit: Archant

Workers rallied against what they say is the “Scrooge” council’s Christmas lay-off.

Staff protest outside County Hall in Cambridge

Staff protest outside County Hall in Cambridge - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire County Council staff rallied today against what they say is their “Scrooge” bosses’ plans to make them take three days unpaid leave over Christmas.

Staff and supporters protested outside Shire Hall at lunchtime wearing a Scrooge outfit and Santa hats to condemn the plan, which amounts to a 1.2 per cent pay cut taken out of staff’s salaries every month for twelve months.

Workers on more than £26,000 will automatically have their pay cut, while those on less will be forced to use up three days leave over Christmas.

If they have already used up all their leave entitlement they will have to ‘buy’ extra leave, which also amounts to a pay cut.

Staff protest outside County Hall in Cambridge

Staff protest outside County Hall in Cambridge - Credit: Archant

UNISON branch secretary Rob Turner said: “Staff are rightly angry that their Scrooge bosses want to snatch their pay this Christmas.

“These workers should be thinking about how to enjoy their first Christmas in post-austerity Britain – if Theresa May and Philip Hammond are to be believed – but instead they’re facing a 1.2 per cent cut to their salary after a decade of struggling to keep services going amid ever-tightening budgets and frozen salaries.

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“We’re glad staff and supporters have come out today to show bosses they won’t stand for this Christmas lay-off.

“The council must get the message and not force its workers to pay the price for its own financial failings.”

Staff protest outside County Hall in Cambridge

Staff protest outside County Hall in Cambridge - Credit: Archant

The county council needs to save money to meet an expected £14.6 million shortfall in its budget and announced a saving of £900,000 by insisting those 1,800 members of staff earning above £25,000 a year must take three days unpaid leave at Christmas.

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