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Wyre Forest District Council will debate proposals for a new four year pay deal for its 300 employees on Wednesday 27 September.

The proposed deal which would see a pay increase worth 1.5% in 2018, followed by a further 1% in each of the following three years, can be achieved without the need for any job losses.

Councillor Nathan Desmond, Cabinet Member for Resources, said “These are fair and affordable pay increases for staff, worth the equivalent of 4.5% over the next four years. They give certainty to staff that they will receive a pay increase every year and what the increase will be, and give certainty to the council in its financial planning.

“We recognise that staff in the council and across the public sector have experienced pay restraint for many years as a result of the Government’s austerity programme.  We could pay higher increases but the stark reality is that we would have to fund it by cutting jobs. I feel strongly that it is better to offer all staff an affordable pay settlement than have to tell some of them that they no longer have a job.”

The proposals are being brought forward after a long period of negotiation with the unions about a further period of local pay arrangements, under which the council sets the increases that staff receive rather than the national negotiations led by Local Government Employers. It was not possible to reach agreement with the unions and therefore the report sets out steps which will now be taken to secure implementation. This will include further consultation with unions and staff.

Councillor Desmond added “Early projections show that the council faces a significant funding gap rising to about £2m in 2020-21. We have demonstrated an excellent track record in making savings while at the same time preserving public services and jobs for our valued employees.

“However a pay award in excess of what we’re proposing would be extremely difficult to manage within the available funding and would inevitably lead to job losses and service reductions. It is against this challenging backdrop that the proposals are being made.”

Notes for editors

The council meeting will be held at 6pm on Wednesday 27 September at Wyre Forest House. The meeting will be open to the public and will also be webcast on the council’s website www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk .

The council approved the negotiating remit at its meeting in September 2016.

The detailed proposals for pay increases are as follows

Proposals for pay increases, 2018-2022

 

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

Consolidated increase

1.5%

1%

0.75%

0.75%

Bonus (non-consolidated award)

Zero

Zero

0.25%

0.25%

Total

1.5%

1%

1%

1%

The report also proposes the phasing out of ongoing long service awards that are received by about 50 staff. Phasing out arrangements over three years were negotiated with union representatives but were not approved in a consultative ballot of UNISON members. The report proposes that the negotiated phasing out arrangements should be implemented.




Wyre Forest District Council