Government say GSD must "accept responsibility over the agency worker problem"

The Chief Minister said they "inherited the employment of people from S&K recruitment agency from the GSD" and have called out the Opposition on this issue.

A statement from Fabian Picardo states: 

The statement from the GSD in respect of the employment by the Government in the GDC of Agency Workers in the Civil Service is a remarkable cry for attention from a party that should avoid calling attention to its shameful history of employing cheap labour in its time in Government.

The Chief Minister, said: “We inherited the employment of people from S&K from the GSD. They therefore cannot exonerate themselves of blame for the introduction of this practice. I have accepted that we should have ended the practice sooner – it is high time the GSD accepted that they created the problem.

“I have therefore been very happy to give effect to the commitment I gave a year ago to end this practice in the Civil Service and to offer Agency Workers employment in the GDC. The fact of the matter is that the Government did not have to negotiate with anyone to drastically improve the terms and conditions and security of employment of those providing services to it.

I look forward to continuing to engage with Unite the Union on the issues that they raised with me recently and which they said they would be further setting outin a communication to me on Friday. That will form the basis of our continued constructive engagement on the other issues that arise and any ancillary issues that remain in respect of Agency Workers. “But I won’t take any lessons on industrial relations from the GSD.

They are the party that forced through entry into the Civil Service of workers outside the established rules in 2011, even playing fast and loose with the PSCrules. We have worked to ensure that GDC/Civil Service ring fence issues are resolved after the problems the GSD created.

They are the party that entered into agreements to reduce the manning level of some government departments to zero. We are committed to the manning levels ofthe Civil Service and have exceed them. They are the party that ended the Civil Service pension scheme. We introduced the ability to commute pensions and the Super Annuation Scheme.

And to their eternal shame, they are the party that used to pay young people only HALF the minimum wage on schemes they designed to tamper with the unemployment statistics. We have increased the minimum wage every year since we were elected and immediately upon our election we ensured that all those employed by Government who received half the minimum wage had their salaries immediately doubled!

They are therefore the party of cheap labour and the party of the cheapskates who would not even pay the minimum wage. If anything fits the definition of 'slave labour' in our recent history, it is the GSD’s practice in government of paying half the minimum wage to those on training schemes. They have no moral authority to pretend to be on the side of workers when they mercilessly exploited workers when they were in government. Those were the practices of the GSD in government.

The work I have done, and have still to do, with my colleagues in Unite and the other unions, have delivered real and drastic improvements in the rights of workers. A lot has been done. A lot is still to be done and I remain ambitious for what I can achieve in partnership with Unite and other unions. That’s what matters most to those who are really looking out for workers' rights and not those out to save their political skins, as so many in the GSD today seem to be worried to do."

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