TRADE workers have expressed their anger at a council’s decision to give some employees a pay rise, but not others.

Darlington Borough Council has decided to give a pay rise to a number of trade positions including electricians, gas engineers, heating engineers and mechanics.

However, some roles including plumbers, joiners and bricklayers have not been given the financial boost – a decision which affected workers have described as unfair and disgraceful.

The decision has resulted in opposition councillors calling for further consultation from the council and for decisions not to be made “behind closed doors”.

The Northern Echo understands some workers have been given a pay rise of almost £4,000 a year.

A spokesman for the council said the decision had been made because of “difficulties” in recruitment and to bring certain posts in line with industry rates.

The spokesman added: “Following difficulties in recruiting to a number of trade positions, including heating engineers and fitters, it has been agreed to apply a temporary market supplement on these posts to bring them in line with industry rates.

“We needed to do this, as we have one third of these posts vacant which is impacting on service delivery.”

One of the affected workers, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “We are all understandably very frustrated – it is simply not fair.

“We appreciate there are different skill levels that deserve to be paid different rates, but it is disgraceful to give some of us a pay rise and not the others.

“We’ve heard for ages the council are struggling for money, yet they are able to find some for the select few.”

Heather Scott, Conservative leader on the council, said she wanted to investigate why the decision had been made, after claiming members were under the impression the pay rise had been given “across the board”.

“If this is the case, then it is not fair and it is yet another example of the Labour group making decisions without proper consultation. It hasn’t been scrutinised.

“It is just like the situation with the new bins, every day there seems to be something coming out that the rest of us are not aware of.

“We are all councillors and we all represent our constituents – all of us will probably have someone in our ward who is affected by this.”

Anne-Marie Curry, Liberal Democrat leader, added: “I would like to see the council more open and for more discussions to be had.

“We need a proper explanation for why the decision has been made.

"I welcome the fact that some have had a pay rise, but why not others?”