Councillor Colin Lambert's 1,000 days as Council leader marked by support of public sector union

Date published: 01 June 2014

Councillor Colin Lambert marked 1,000 days as the leader of Rochdale Council this month and the public sector union, Unison, has sent a document to members to "share" with them "some of the great things" they have "achieved together" - Unison says the unions and Colin Lambert are "working together to help Rochdale grow" and describe Councillor Lambert as a "man of conviction".

The "achievements" highlighted by Unison in his 1,000 days as leader of the Council - since taking over the leadership of the Council when the previous Lib Dem administration imploded - include bringing services back under Council control, negotiating a 'living wage' for Council employees and introducing a guaranteed interview for all ex-servicemen and women.

The full list of achievements in the document

  • Alongside your Unions, Colin has worked hard to bring Impact Combined Partnership (Highways, IT, Payroll and Property Services) back under Council Control. This has been achieved at no extra cost and with no loss of jobs.
  • Colin is currently chairing initial discussions on establishing a Worker’s Charter in Rochdale. Although in it’s early stages, Colin plans that this Charter will enshrine three basic tenets:
    Prioritising Rochdale- creating employment and training opportunities for Rochdale people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
    Promoting Rochdale- aiming to purchase Rochdale goods and services wherever possible.
    Protecting Rochdale- Promoting best possible working practices for the town’s employees, maintaining a firm commitment to eradiating the illegal practice of blacklisting and strongly opposing the use of zero-hours contracts.
    It is hoped that the Charter will be eventually be adopted by every employer within the town.
  • Colin, along with your Union Representatives has successfully negotiated a living wage for all Rochdale MBC Workers. Council Employees will now receive an hourly rate of £7.65. ‘ A fair Day’s work for a fair day’s pay’.
  • Safe-guarding of children has never been more important in Rochdale and Colin, along with support from your Unions has led an extensive re-structuring of Children’s Social Care. A significant number of posts have been created and a new service approach has been developed.
  • Under Colin’s Leadership, Education and Future Life Chances continue to improve. Today in Rochdale, 80% of children are being taught in good or better schools and 97% of families are offered one of their top three preferences in primary school places.
  • Colin continues to oppose the setting up of free schools and Government-imposed academies across the borough, and believes that our Teacher’s and Support Staff’s pay and conditions must be protected.
  • Colin’s first 1000 days saw the completion of a new Metrolink Line and £12 million Transport Interchange. He was also instrumental in procuring a £100 million deal to secure the Town Centre’s future. These investments will bring hundreds of jobs to the town.
  • Along with Unison representatives Colin is calling for Pennine Acute NHS Trust to move away from damaging privatisation plans. Colin believes that ‘…patients come first, not private sector profits’ and wants the basic core principles of the NHS to be honoured.
  • In his role as Council Leader, Colin has fought hard to restore original employment terms and conditions for employees at Rochdale Borough Council, re-instating working conditions that were cut by previous Liberal Democrat and Conservative administrations.
  • Colin has introduced a ground-breaking initiative in Rochdale - a guaranteed interview for all ex-servicemen and women. Statistics show that ex-forces members are at greater risk of unemployment, isolation and drink and drug addiction and Colin is hoping that the scheme will be extended to other firms and organisations within the town.
  • Colin is a man of conviction, and continues to be committed to keeping public services public and returning services back in-house.

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