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Public sector mileage rates cut

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Union members have narrowly voted to have their mileage allowances cut, which will save a council more than £650,000 per year.

Members of Unison, Unite and GMB at North Lincolnshire Council were balloted about the proposals to remove an annual lump sum payment of more than £900 to essential users and introduce the HMRC approved mileage allowance payments (AMAPs) for all drivers.

As well as receiving the lump sum, essential users were paid 40.9p per mile for the first 8,500 miles and 14.4p thereafter, while causal users were paid 52.2p per mile and 14.4p respectively with no lump sum.

The AMAP rate is 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles and 25p thereafter.

Around 2,000 union members were balloted and 17% returned ballots with a narrow 53% majority in favour of accepting a cut in the mileage allowances they receive from November.

A council spokesman said: “Following cuts across the whole public sector our focus is to avoid reductions in services to the public, and to minimise job losses.

“To support this, we have looked carefully at all areas of council expenditure. In 2011/12 we spent £1.7 million on casual and essential mileage and we feel that savings can be made on this area.”

The council has a savings target of £25 million to achieve by 2014/15.

However, Berwick-based community health workers took industrial action last month over changes to their travel costs.

The one-day strike came after managers at the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust proposed halving the mileage rate paid to workers driving their own cars from 47p to 24p.

The Trust had originally introduced the changes in April 2010 for all other staff, a year before taking over the management of community health workers in April 2011. 

The intention was for all employees to receive the same mileage rates from April 2012, but discussions are continuing with community health workers to see the changes are implemented. 

Ann Stringer, executive director of human resources and organisational development at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are an organisation with 8,500 staff most of whom already receive the revised mileage rate.

"This is about aligning staff in the Community Services Business Unit, who joined our organisation in April 2011, with the rest of the Trust where the revised rates were introduced in April 2010."

Unison balloted 600 staff in the Community Services Business Unit and only 200 responded.

Stringer continued: “The revised travel reimbursement for staff who use their own cars for business covers the incremental cost of additional miles and, along with the offer of a lease car, adheres to national terms and conditions for staff working in the NHS.

“The implementation follows lengthy consultation with trade unions and we will continue to work with them to find a local resolution.”


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  • GlennEwen - 15/08/2012 11:48

    Without knowing whether "essential" users get a car allowance as part of their remuneration, this isn't really telling the full story. On the face of it, they've just decided to do what everyone in the private sector has been doing for years.

  • spade - 15/08/2012 13:21

    This is very good news and reassuring that these particular public sector workers are agreeing to a very reasonable proposition. Perhaps the "fatcats" in central government who receive an even greater mileage allowance than the 45ppm AMAP will follow suit and, for once - do the right thing ! I wont hold my breath

  • GJ - 30/08/2012 21:38

    The revised rates applied in 2010 to existing staff were carried out in a hurry as well, with no clear policy in place other than make a profit. The trust are using section 17 to force staff to lease a car through the trusts own scheme to make a profit from their own position. It's a disgrace.

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