A new Freedom of Information request by the Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald has revealed that the number of people employed by North Ayrshire Council on zero hour contracts has risen again.
Back on 17th December 2014 Joe asked the SNP administration for an update on how many people were employed on casual contracts and was told there was 521. The latest figures from the FOI request show that number has risen to 592, the vast majority of whom are female (392).
Some "casual workers" have multiple casual contracts meaning that the total number is likely to still be over 900.
Joe, who has been campaigning against these contracts, provided the following comment to the Herald on behalf of the Labour Group.
"These figures show yet another rise in the number of people who the Council employ on zero hour contracts which is disappointing."
"Back in 2013 I secured a review of the Council's "casual contracts". We were assured that every contract would be reviewed and where possible employees would be moved onto regular contracts with regular hours. Since then the number of zero hour contracts has steadily risen."
"When I asked in December how many casual workers had been moved onto regular contracts the SNP spokesperson couldn't tell us. Despite promising to provide the information to all Councillors following the meeting they still haven't done so. There is a complete lack of political will from the SNP administration to tackle this problem."
"Whilst the SNP administration proclaim that zero hour contracts "are sometimes a good way of working" I and the Labour Group will continue to put pressure on them to end their use. Not only do they not provide workers with a stable income but they often result in the employee having no holiday or sick pay entitlement and don't allow them to have access to credit. They are Victorian and should not be so widely used by local authorities like North Ayrshire Council."
The official Council minute of Joe's question on 17th December 2014: