Conservative questions lead to Living Wage for Greenwich GSPlus employees

Following questions from Cllr Spencer Drury and an article on the Greenwich Conservatives website, the Labour-run Greenwich Council appears to have executed a dramatic about turn and is now saying it will pay the London Living Wage (LLW) to all employees of GSPlus (a subsidiary of Greenwich Council).

 

The controversy over GSPlus failing to pay the LLW was reignited at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Tuesday evening when in answer to questions from Conservative Leader Cllr Spencer Drury, the Managing Director of GSPlus confirmed that currently the company did not pay the LLW to its staff. However, Mr Singh-Kandola did outline plans to allow GSPlus employees working in Greenwich to receive the LLW from April 2014 at a cost of £112,000.  These very specific comments were reinforced by a section of the report to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee which stated that over the next six months GSPlus aimed to address:

 

“Payment of the LLW to all staff involved in delivery of services to the parent body as from April 2014;” (Section 5.2, Item 9)

 

However, the day after an article was published on the Greenwich Conservatives website (http://www.greenwichconservatives.com/news/1549) the Chairman of GSPlus (who happens to be Deputy Leader of Greenwich Council) Cllr Peter Brooks wrote to Councillors suggesting that there had been ‘some confusion’ and he wished to clarify the matter.  Cllr Brooks wrote:

"GS Plus is paying all staff on the payroll delivering the Council's contracts the LLW and this, together with full backdating, will be in staff pay packets in December 2013.  For avoidance of doubt this includes the latest uplift to £8.80 per hour."

It is hard to avoid the conclusion that until Cllr Drury’s question on Tuesday, GSPlus employees in Greenwich were not getting the LLW as otherwise, Cllr Brooks would not need to backdate the pay in December 2013.  It is understood that the backdating will apply for the last year from November 2012.

 

Spencer said “I am really pleased that as a result of my question, the Council has decided to pay the London Living Wage to all employees, including those working for its company GSPlus.  I am sure this will provide an excellent Christmas bonus for many GSPlus employees this year.”

 

“Of course the disgraceful thing here is the way in which many Labour Councillors have publically stated their support for the London Living Wage while tolerating their own organisation not paying it.  Greenwich Council’s hypocrisy is staggering.”