Joe has welcomed that North Ayrshire Council and local trade unions are due to sign a new protocol on casual contracts but has warned that more needs to be done to provide permanent employment with regular hours.
Councillor Cullinane has been campaigning against North Ayrshire Council’s use of casual contracts since 2013. As part of his campaign he secured a review of casual contracts and has now revealed that 78 people were moved from casual employment to temporary or permanent contracts, with regular hours, in 2014/15. Despite this the number of people on casual contracts has continued to increase.
Speaking about the protocol Councillor Cullinane said,
“North Ayrshire Council wouldn’t be proposing this protocol if it wasn’t for the concerted efforts of myself and the Labour Group. Even when the SNP administration told us that zero hour contracts“are sometimes a good way of working” we continued to raise the issue and pushed for action to reduce their use by the Council.”
“This new protocol is a step forward but with the number of people employed by the Council on casual contracts continuing to increase its clear that more needs to be done to secure permanent, secure employment with regular hours for those working to deliver council services. The protocol sets out that casual contracts should be reviewed annually but in reality they should be continually reviewed to ensure that the number stuck on casual contracts is kept to an absolute minimum. That’s something I am keen to push for.”
Labour Group leader Peter McNamara added,
"I welcome this development which comes after a campaign by Councillor Cullinane and the Labour Group. But we must always remain vigilant to ensure that zero hour contracts remain the exception rather than the norm."