£2m earmarked for council salaries
AROUND £2m has been ear-marked by a council to finance a projected wage bill increase which is due to an equal pay agreement approved 10 years ago. Bedfordshire County Council has set aside the money for the introduction of Single Status on April 1, an ag
AROUND £2m has been ear-marked by a council to finance a projected wage bill increase which is due to an equal pay agreement approved 10 years ago.
Bedfordshire County Council has set aside the money for the introduction of Single Status on April 1, an agreement put in place in 1997 between trade unions and councils to equalise pay and terms and conditions between male and female employees.
The council introduced a harmonising working week and terms and conditions in 1999 and has said it is making good progress in completing a new pay and grading structure.
A spokesman for the council said: "As with any change in grading structures, some staff will receive pay rises, some will stay on the same pay, and others will see their posts' down graded.
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"However, the council's pay protection policy will protect any member of staff from receiving a reduced salary during the next three years."
The spokesman said the council has a good working relationship with its trade unions and talks are continuing with regards to back pay prior to April 1.
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A spokesman for Stevenage Borough Council has said it will not meet the April deadline, although it is committed to implementing the agreement.
The spokesman said: "We are currently carrying out in-depth job evaluations, using a nationally agreed scheme, and working with trade unions to set a new pay and grading structure.
"Until this structure is finalised we won't know if there are any issues regarding back pay so at the moment we are unable to say what the increase in the pay bill will be. "However, we understand that nationally the average is about four per cent."
None of the other three councils which cover Comet country are faced with any equal pay claims as their pay structures have already been harmonised.