Council workers face nervous Christmas over pay deal

THOUSANDS of local government workers face a nervous countdown to Christmas, with council chiefs pushing for a December 31 deadline on clinching a new pay deal.

Labour-led Durham County Council backed a new pay and grading structure affecting about 8,900 workers in February, with deputy leader Alan Napier calling it a fair deal.

It was hoped the single status shake-up, which would mean a pay cut for 1,800 workers, a raise for more than 2,500 and no change for about 4,600, would come into force in May.

It would increase the council’s annual wage bill by £6.7m.

However, while the GMB and Unison unions have signed up, a ballot of Unite members failed to produce a ‘yes’ vote and talks are still ongoing.

In an internal memo seen by The Northern Echo, Don McLure, the council’s corporate director of resources, says it is still working towards implementing the proposals by agreement with all trade unions and if a deal is reached by December 31 it could be backdated to October 1.

However, if no deal is reached, the council may need to look at an alternative process for implementing the changes, he adds.

If this went ahead, it would not be implemented until ‘during 2013’, meaning months more waiting for council workers.

A full council meeting on Wednesday (December 5) will be asked to authorise Mr McLure to hold ‘focused negotiations’ with the unions in an effort to secure a deal by December 31.

If these talks proved unsuccessful, a further report would be put before council early next year, outlining the alternative process.

The deal as it stood in February included 14 pay grades ranging from £12,145 to £41,616, with each grade including at least five levels.

Workers’ fuel allowance would fall from 52p to 48p per mile and staff would receive 26 days of annual holiday, rising to 31 after five years’ service.

The national single status agreement was reached in 1997 and due to be implemented by July 2007. Many councils have already done so.

County Durham underwent a major local government shake-up in April 2009, with the two-tier set-up replaced by a unitary authority.

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:16pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Graeme_r says...

"Workers fuel allowance" is a misleading phrase used here. "Car mileage allowance" for use of own vehicle on Council Business is what you should have said.
"Workers fuel allowance" is a misleading phrase used here. "Car mileage allowance" for use of own vehicle on Council Business is what you should have said. Graeme_r
  • Score: 0

3:37pm Wed 28 Nov 12

stevegg says...

"It would increase the council’s annual wage bill by £6.7m" Suely when the council is having to implement £100 million of cuts, wages shoud be frozen. If wages need to be readjusted to be fairer it should be done at zero cost to the public purse (eg reduce higher earners to increase lower earners wages). In the current climate, and in order to safeguard jobs no increase in the wage bill should be permitted, where is this extra almost £7 million coming from when huge cuts are being implemented????? It doesnt make financial sense, mind you this is the council we are talking about who appear to be blaizee with public money.
"It would increase the council’s annual wage bill by £6.7m" Suely when the council is having to implement £100 million of cuts, wages shoud be frozen. If wages need to be readjusted to be fairer it should be done at zero cost to the public purse (eg reduce higher earners to increase lower earners wages). In the current climate, and in order to safeguard jobs no increase in the wage bill should be permitted, where is this extra almost £7 million coming from when huge cuts are being implemented????? It doesnt make financial sense, mind you this is the council we are talking about who appear to be blaizee with public money. stevegg
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Wed 28 Nov 12

sue..... says...

stevegg wrote:
"It would increase the council’s annual wage bill by £6.7m" Suely when the council is having to implement £100 million of cuts, wages shoud be frozen. If wages need to be readjusted to be fairer it should be done at zero cost to the public purse (eg reduce higher earners to increase lower earners wages). In the current climate, and in order to safeguard jobs no increase in the wage bill should be permitted, where is this extra almost £7 million coming from when huge cuts are being implemented????? It doesnt make financial sense, mind you this is the council we are talking about who appear to be blaizee with public money.
this is true i work for the council and one of the lowest paid there but i can assure you the high earners wont take a pay cut just to save money, i have lost 4 hours a week which doesnt sound much but it is to me.
[quote][p][bold]stevegg[/bold] wrote: "It would increase the council’s annual wage bill by £6.7m" Suely when the council is having to implement £100 million of cuts, wages shoud be frozen. If wages need to be readjusted to be fairer it should be done at zero cost to the public purse (eg reduce higher earners to increase lower earners wages). In the current climate, and in order to safeguard jobs no increase in the wage bill should be permitted, where is this extra almost £7 million coming from when huge cuts are being implemented????? It doesnt make financial sense, mind you this is the council we are talking about who appear to be blaizee with public money.[/p][/quote]this is true i work for the council and one of the lowest paid there but i can assure you the high earners wont take a pay cut just to save money, i have lost 4 hours a week which doesnt sound much but it is to me. sue.....
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Little owl says...

sue..... wrote:
stevegg wrote: "It would increase the council’s annual wage bill by £6.7m" Suely when the council is having to implement £100 million of cuts, wages shoud be frozen. If wages need to be readjusted to be fairer it should be done at zero cost to the public purse (eg reduce higher earners to increase lower earners wages). In the current climate, and in order to safeguard jobs no increase in the wage bill should be permitted, where is this extra almost £7 million coming from when huge cuts are being implemented????? It doesnt make financial sense, mind you this is the council we are talking about who appear to be blaizee with public money.
this is true i work for the council and one of the lowest paid there but i can assure you the high earners wont take a pay cut just to save money, i have lost 4 hours a week which doesnt sound much but it is to me.
I work for the council also and if they got rid of a huge slice of middle management, to this day i know not what they do, walk about with bits of paper in their hands to make themselves look busy whilst pretending to do lots of photocopying of things they dont need, thus wasteing even more money, i could go on but wont, then the council would probably save tens of thousands of pounds, as well as several reams of paper.
[quote][p][bold]sue.....[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stevegg[/bold] wrote: "It would increase the council’s annual wage bill by £6.7m" Suely when the council is having to implement £100 million of cuts, wages shoud be frozen. If wages need to be readjusted to be fairer it should be done at zero cost to the public purse (eg reduce higher earners to increase lower earners wages). In the current climate, and in order to safeguard jobs no increase in the wage bill should be permitted, where is this extra almost £7 million coming from when huge cuts are being implemented????? It doesnt make financial sense, mind you this is the council we are talking about who appear to be blaizee with public money.[/p][/quote]this is true i work for the council and one of the lowest paid there but i can assure you the high earners wont take a pay cut just to save money, i have lost 4 hours a week which doesnt sound much but it is to me.[/p][/quote]I work for the council also and if they got rid of a huge slice of middle management, to this day i know not what they do, walk about with bits of paper in their hands to make themselves look busy whilst pretending to do lots of photocopying of things they dont need, thus wasteing even more money, i could go on but wont, then the council would probably save tens of thousands of pounds, as well as several reams of paper. Little owl
  • Score: 0

10:31pm Wed 28 Nov 12

spragger says...

'It would increase the council’s annual wage bill by £6.7m.'
No, the taxpayer pays for everything. ..
They really need to be cutting salaries across the board and putting money purchase pensions in place.
These problems are not going way and the taxpayer needs to come first
'It would increase the council’s annual wage bill by £6.7m.' No, the taxpayer pays for everything. .. They really need to be cutting salaries across the board and putting money purchase pensions in place. These problems are not going way and the taxpayer needs to come first spragger
  • Score: 0

11:22pm Wed 28 Nov 12

5under1and says...

I`d start by introducing pay cuts on a sliding scale, salary 30k = 10% cut 40k 12.5% etc etc. nice to see the honesty of a couple of council workers on here.
I`d start by introducing pay cuts on a sliding scale, salary 30k = 10% cut 40k 12.5% etc etc. nice to see the honesty of a couple of council workers on here. 5under1and
  • Score: 0

1:12pm Thu 29 Nov 12

bishopman says...

Most Local Authorities implemented Job Evaluation by the 2007 deadline so one should question why the Senior Management of DCC has not been able to achieve this. Also, as part of efficiency savings let me compare some of the above to a nearby County Council:

Car Mileage 40p per mile (DCC proposing 48p)
Annual leave 23 days rising to 30 days after 10 years (DCC proposing 26 days rising to 31 after 5 years)
Staff have to take 2 days unpaid leave per year i.e. 2 days wages deducted from their salary
No overtime rates

Shows that DCC has some way to go methinks!
Most Local Authorities implemented Job Evaluation by the 2007 deadline so one should question why the Senior Management of DCC has not been able to achieve this. Also, as part of efficiency savings let me compare some of the above to a nearby County Council: Car Mileage 40p per mile (DCC proposing 48p) Annual leave 23 days rising to 30 days after 10 years (DCC proposing 26 days rising to 31 after 5 years) Staff have to take 2 days unpaid leave per year i.e. 2 days wages deducted from their salary No overtime rates Shows that DCC has some way to go methinks! bishopman
  • Score: 0

2:20pm Thu 29 Nov 12

ajtib3 says...

'Most Local Authorities implemented Job Evaluation by the 2007 deadline so one should question why the Senior Management of DCC has not been able to achieve this'

Because it didn't exist!
'Most Local Authorities implemented Job Evaluation by the 2007 deadline so one should question why the Senior Management of DCC has not been able to achieve this' Because it didn't exist! ajtib3
  • Score: 0

7:50pm Thu 29 Nov 12

peter laidler says...

I note the comments of 'bishopman' and I concur. I don't know who the CC is to which he refers, but Durham should be thinking along the same lines during the current economic climate. A reduction in the number of County councillors at or around £14,000 per annum would be a boon, but a total freeze on their pay is warranted given their output. A cull of middle and senior management posts is also necessary.
I note the comments of 'bishopman' and I concur. I don't know who the CC is to which he refers, but Durham should be thinking along the same lines during the current economic climate. A reduction in the number of County councillors at or around £14,000 per annum [not including expenses] would be a boon, but a total freeze on their pay is warranted given their output. A cull of middle and senior management posts is also necessary. peter laidler
  • Score: 0

9:15pm Thu 29 Nov 12

loonyleft says...

Peter if you reduce county councillors.won't somebody somewhere complain they are not being represented?
Peter if you reduce county councillors.won't somebody somewhere complain they are not being represented? loonyleft
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Fri 30 Nov 12

peter laidler says...

No names-No pack drill LL but regretfully I cant say that I'm overly impressed with two of their number who supposedly represent in my area. On most major issues they just go with the majority nodding like 'Churchill' from that well known advert, and collect their fee. How often do you have your CC rep come and knock on your door to seek your views?More to the point, peoples views need to change with the times e.g. we now have a unitary council the theory of which is to function more efficiently and at reduced costs, so why shouldn't we reduce the numbers of councillors too?
No names-No pack drill LL but regretfully I cant say that I'm overly impressed with two of their number who supposedly represent in my area. On most major issues they just go with the majority nodding like 'Churchill' from that well known advert, and collect their fee. How often do you have your CC rep come and knock on your door to seek your views?More to the point, peoples views need to change with the times e.g. we now have a unitary council the theory of which is to function more efficiently and at reduced costs, so why shouldn't we reduce the numbers of councillors too? peter laidler
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree