Sunday, 23 November 2014

Why do the Tories hate the young so much?

At the Ipswich Full Council meeting last week the Labour run council proposed to raise the pay of council employed apprentices. Recently we had become a living wage employer a fact we were proud of but by raising wages of all our staff so they earn at least the living wage it seemed right to also raise our apprentices pay.

The wage rise had been looked at in depth, supported by a (all party) council working group and the figures had been checked to make sure we could pay the rise from our budget.

Not sure anyone thought this would be contentious and all thought the proposal would fly through with all party support, but before we could vote we were suddenly handed out (a badly worded) Tory amendment.

We aimed to raise our apprentice pay from £2.73 to £3.82 in the first year and then from £5.13 to £7.18 in the second and in Year 3 from £6.50 to £7.85.

The badly Tory written amendment proposed a first year rise from £2.73 to £3.79 but unless you had the pay table in your hands could have been easily misconstrued to think there were no further rises in Yr 2 and 3 and actually a pay cut from existing pay rates.

But once you found table 2.11 you could see there were further wage increases in Year 2 and 3 but far below what Labour were proposing.

So why? Tory leader Cllr Cenci was concerned that the Borough would now have the best pick of all apprentices and that other firms would now be forced to increase their rates of pay, she informed us she understood this as her own partner, a local plumber employs apprentices – but I still could not detect any good reason from her for not paying the rise.

She had young Tory Councillor Eddie Phillips second her amendment and he spoke in support of it, he made a hash of it to say the least and seemed to imply that young Ipswich residents would be happy to get any job and would not be worried about the rate of pay.

Now Cllr Phillips is a Union rep at AXA, and I believe they employ apprentices, not sure those young apprentices will now be totally confident that Eddie Phillips is standing up for them as their union representative rather than supporting the employer!

So why do Ipswich Tories like their leaders in Westminster hate the young so much?? Maybe because unlike our senior residents, they don’t vote?


Cllr Cenci is not happy with this post and has asked me to add her own comments to the post- which I am happy to do:

What I actually was stating is that I didn't understand why we had so many vacancies when I know that employers are inundated with requests for apprenticeships. In other words it's not money that is the reason for our vacancies in my opinion. I asked the question of how are we proactively seeking young people and are we partnering the job centre. No reply.
Just because some, like my husband, can afford to pay above minimum apprenticeship wages, doesn't mean all businesses can and my concern is that if we send out the message that this is the right thing, less apprenticeship positions will be available.

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