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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Dundee City Council faces action over mileage cuts

Written by Public Sector Travel

Staff at a Scottish council will “take whatever action is necessary” to thwart an attempt to cut mileage rates below the HMRC approved level.

Dundee City Council has said that as part of a package of cost-cutting measures intended to allow it to freeze council tax demands, it wants to reduce staff casual user mileage rates from the normal HMRC rate of 45p per mile to only 25p.

A council report said this would save £200,000 in each of the next two years.

It proposed a similar voluntary cut in councillors’ mileage rates, predicted to save £3,000 a year.

Council finance spokesman Willie Sawers said: “The continuing savage cuts from the Westminster Government are forcing tough decisions on us in Dundee and making it more and more difficult to protect front-line services.”

dundee roundaboutUnison branch secretary Margaret McGuire said the union was “appalled that the employer is planning to do this”.

She added: “The branch has been inundated with telephone calls from members who are clearly outraged at the proposed changes.

“If the local authority insists on imposing the change, the feeling is that members are prepared to take whatever action is necessary in order to secure the desired outcome, which is ‘don’t touch it’.”

She said social workers, social care officers and other who provided services in communities or in residents’ homes would be particularly disadvantaged.

McGuire said: “Members are not contractually obligated to use their personal vehicles for the purposes of undertaking service provision.
“We are reminding members of this, we will also make a strong challenge to management who force or pressurise staff to use their own cars under these circumstances. The detrimental effect it will have on service provision is unthinkable.”

Staff goodwill would be lost and service quality would suffer, she added, as employees would in effect be expected to “subsidise the services themselves” if they continued to used their cars on council business.