Wales Online is today carrying a story about Labour leader of Rhondda Cynon Taff (RCT) Council, Russel Roberts, under the headline "With four jobs and £100,000 is this Wales' highest paid councillor?". As well as his job with RCT, he is the deputy leader of the Welsh Local Government Association, Chairman of South Wales Police Authority, and a non-executive director of Cwm Taf Health Board. Meanwhile, according to the article, workers for RCT Council have seen their terms and conditions cut by up to 40%. Many trade unionists will remember that RCT was amongst the pioneers of the use of the now notorious "188 notices" - 90-day notice to impose changes to terms and conditions under threat of redundancy - which are now being used against council workers all over the country. The City and County of Swansea's own workforce has just seen its 90-day notice expire but funnily enough, the Liberal Democrats and their allies don't seem anxious to impose the worse conditions they identified (a raft of 30+ measures incuding less holidays and reducing or scrapping a range of allowances and bonuses for unsocial hours, etc.) on thousands of council workers just before the council elections - afterwards who knows? Worryingly the fear has been voiced in my UNISON branch, by Labour Party members, that leading Labour representatives on the Council have already had discussions with council officers about implementing similar measures should they win in May.
This has become the subject of a blazing row between Labour and Plaid Cymru, with a Plaid candidate accusing Roberts of "his nose firmly in the trough" and Roberts claiming that Plaid Cymru of having "slashed services and axed jobs" in Caerphilly, which they control.
TUSC candidates in Wales will refuse to make any cuts, to the terms and conditions of public sector workers or to the vital services they provide. We can promise as well that we won't be enjoying any perks or taking inflated salaries at the expense of working class tax payers. Vote Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition on May 3rd.