Havering Council leader defends staff pay review after councillor calls it a ‘pig’s ear’

PUBLISHED: 17:30 30 July 2017 | UPDATED: 18:11 31 July 2017

Lisa Huff, John Winch and Sue King, all teaching assistants at Hilldene Primary School joined hundreds of protesters outside Havering Town Hall, in November, to oppose wage cuts being carried out under the council's terms and conditions review. Picture: Ann-Marie Abbasah

Lisa Huff, John Winch and Sue King, all teaching assistants at Hilldene Primary School joined hundreds of protesters outside Havering Town Hall, in November, to oppose wage cuts being carried out under the council's terms and conditions review. Picture: Ann-Marie Abbasah


Havering Council has been accused of making a “pig’s ear” out of a controversial salary review.

In October, the authority set out to achieve a saving of more than £500,000 by reviewing employee terms and conditions.

But according to Cllr David Durant (Independent Residents Group, Rainham and Wennington), the cost of the review exceeded the amount it aimed at saving.

He said: “The ‘pig’s ear’ review of terms and conditions of Havering employees was recently concluded and agreed 9:1 by the governance committee on July, 20.

“The review itself cost over £600,000 to conduct and was intended to deliver a £500,000 cut in the wage bill.

“The final reduction was shown as £872,000, but due to 18 per cent getting a pay rise and 30pc a pay cut, the total reduction for the 30pc was over £1million.”

A council spokesman responded that “23pc of staff will lose less than £100 a year”, and added that “the review cost £600,000 over three years assessing the roles of more than 5,000 staff”.

Council leader, Cllr Roger Ramsey said: “Far from being a ‘pig’s ear’, the review of terms and conditions will, by next year, reduce the council’s pay bill by half a million pounds each year.”

According to Cllr Durant lower paid staff suffered disproportionately higher pay cuts due to changes in allowances.

He added: “Hence the sense of anger, demoralisation and sense of unfairness expressed by many employees about the review.”

In November, hundreds of council workers and union members fearing lower-paid workers would be hit worst, protested outside Havering Town Hall with placards denouncing the review.

At the protest, Hilldene Primary School teaching assistant John Winch said: “It’s taken me 16 years to get where I am and now they’re knocking me back down.”

The spokeswoman explained that “teaching assistants will get an allowance so won’t be worse off.”

Cllr Ramsey added: “This council, like many across the country, is facing an ever increasing demand for services, coupled with an ever decreasing budget.

“We have to look at all the options open to us to save money and protect the frontline services.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories


Families were invited to get into the festive spirit with a special winter wonderland event in Upminster.

Neighbours stood together in the cold last night in protest against a planning application to demolish a beloved community hall.

A Christmas toy appeal backed by the Recorder saw Havering residents donate more than 100 soft toys to a Hornchurch charity helping care for disabled children.

Yesterday, 15:00

In the days when water wasn’t safe to drink, even children drank beer, as Prof Ged Martin explains

Yesterday, 12:00

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Readers may not have heard of Sadiq Khan’s planned expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), but it is set to have a detrimental impact on the hundreds of thousands of people who drive inside the North and South Circulars every day.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Christmas, the time of year when we are pressured to buy things no one wants for people we don’t want to buy for at prices we’re not happy with.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Police tasered a man in Collier Row after he threatened officers with a meat cleaver.


From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now