NL Leisure slammed over £140-a-week pay cut

Aquatec in Motherwell is one of the facilities run by NL Leisure.
Aquatec in Motherwell is one of the facilities run by NL Leisure.

Leisure chiefs are under attack for slashing workers’ wages after an engineer revealed he is facing a £140-a-week pay cut.

The employee was staggered to find that his annual salary is being reduced by nearly £7,000 after a review of virtually all North Lanarkshire Leisure posts.

The organisation’s board chairman, Councillor Jim Logue, insisted this week changes are needed to keep NLL competitive and said the job evaluation scheme has produced ‘winners and losers’.

However, Central Scotland MSP Richard Lyle said it’s ‘outrageous’ that the review has led to such a drastic drop in salary.

He added: “No one can afford a £140-a-week pay cut. Would Councillor Logue accept it? This is not on.”

The Times & Speaker has been told that a number of employees are unhappy at the outcome of the review as they are losing money.

The engineer in question earns £28,904, but has been told that will be cut to £22,046 in two years’ time.

NLL was set up by North Lanarkshire Council to run leisure facilities and, although it gets funding from the authority, it operates separately.

Last month the council gave NLL £675,000 to help it introduce the Living Wage hourly rate of £7.85 for low paid workers such as leisure centre attendants.

Councillor Logue, the NLL board chairman, defended the job evaluation scheme, saying only five per cent of the workforce have had to take a wage cut with the ‘overwhelming majority’ either getting an increase or not being affected either way.

He said: “We operate in a very competitive environment with more and more leisure outlets opening.

“If we don’t offer the best prices and facilities our customers will go elsewhere.”

However, Mr Lyle said: “NLL has succeeded in getting more people through the doors of sports facilities than the council did when it ran the facilities.

“Income must have increased as a result so why the need to cut staff wages?”

Trade union Unison said members had voted narrowly to accept the changes, adding: “There is a clear appeals process for those staff members who feel their job has been graded incorrectly, with a trade union seat on the appeals panel.”

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