Dorchester demo over ‘them and us’ pay for county coun...

Dorchester demo over ‘them and us’ pay for county council bosses

18 July 2016

Trade unionists angered at planned large pay rises for Dorset county council bosses, at a time of cuts and the squeeze on other employees’ pay, will stage a demo at the council’s Dorchester headquarters on Thursday (21 July).

The demo involving members from Unite, the country’s largest union, and other unions, will be at County Hall, Colliton Park, Dorchester (DT1 1XJ) between 08.00 and 09.30 on Thursday to protest against the council’s heads of service pay recommendations.

Unite regional officer Bob Lanning said: "We are calling on all staff and members of the public affected by cuts, such as to youth services and libraries, to join Thursday’s demo.

“We want them to take this opportunity to tell the council what they think about the planned pay rises for the top earning staff, while at the same time, council services are being axed and there is a real squeeze on other council employee pay.

“As usual, there is one law for the bosses and another one for everyone else. We hope that the Dorset public is suitably disgusted by this display of rank hypocrisy.”

The 15 heads of services at the authority are due to receive pay increases of up to £12,000 on current salaries, starting from £79,000. This was rubber stamped by the staffing consultation panel recently, despite protests from Unite. This pay plan will come before the full council for approval, also on Thursday.

Bob Lanning added: “It is hard to justify pay rises for senior staff in a council which is so overspent. Other council employees have had to struggle to get by with a one per cent increase for last two years.

“I cannot think of many industries that reward this sort of failure. Surely all of the money allocated to the pay rises for the top managers ought to be spent on public services and reducing this colossal overspend.

“Staff in the finance department at the council are currently undergoing a restructuring exercise where they have had to sit an exam, give presentations and then be interviewed to retain their current level of pay. 

“Unite would like to ask what process senior staff had to go through to get their unprecedented pay rise.”

Unite intends to launch a Freedom of Information request into the cost of restructuring at the council over the past six years

Unite said that to add insult to injury, the county council wants to charge staff to park at County Hall (£2 a day on average) and this could be extended to six other council sites across Dorset.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.