TORY members have accused Kirklees Council of an attack on council workers’ rights.
A change in Kirklees’ constitution yesterday means only council officers will sit on the council’s appeals panel.
The panel – which was previously made up of councillors – is the council’s final forum of appeal for employees with grievances over dismissals, disciplinary procedures and pay grading.
Holme Valley South Conservative councillor Nigel Patrick said the new structure would remove the panel’s impartiality.
Clr Patrick said: “I am astonished at this blatant attack on employee rights by the council which I think is unacceptable and I am sure unions representing council staff will be furious.
“The move from having appeals heard by councillors to be heard by officers removes any independence from the appeals process, and it will allow any bad management practices to go unseen and unchecked.
“This removes councillors’ input from the heart of this process, and ensures that they will be denied the opportunity to see how well the procedures are working.
“It is ironic that a socialist dominated Liberal-Labour pact are working together to starve employees of a fair and independent appeals process.”
But Lib-Dem Golcar councillor Andrew Marchington said: “I feel this amendment will make our decision making more effective and I’m sure the unions will continue to represent the best interests of their employees in employment tribunals.”