WEST NORFOLK: Below-inflation pay rise likely for council staff
Staff at West Norfolk Council could be seeing an increase in their pay packets from April if members give the green light at a meeting next week.
Cabinet members have been recommended to approve plans to give workers a one per cent pay rise for the next financial year.
Council leader Nick Daubney says the reduced staff have exceeded savings targets and that salaries have been frozen for three years.
Union leaders have stated, in a report to Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, that a number of staff members are “living hand-to-mouth following sharp rises in the cost of living”.
Norfolk County Council has scrapped a proposal to give its staff, including firefighters, a one per cent pay rise in order to make further operational savings.
Mr Daubney said: “I think what is important for local people is we hold their council tax down and that we make as many big savings as we possibly can make while continuing to deliver first class services.
“Over a period of years, the staff have delivered and exceeded savings targets.
“It is a smaller staff and we are sharing more and more services and looking to contract out more services and we are delivering the lowest council tax increases in the country over a period of the last two years.”
Council workers last pay rise was a one per cent increase in 2010/11 and salaries were frozen in 2009/10, 2011/12 and 2012/13.
But last year staff were given a £250 lump sum in recognition of exceeding savings targets set for the previous year.
Inflation for the first quarter of 2013 is forecast to be 2.0 per cent to 3.1 per cent.
In November, the retail price index fell to three per cent while the consumer prices index stood at 2.7 per cent.
The cabinet report states there is budget provision to meet the one per cent pay rise along with a 0.5 per cent contingency fund.
A report to the cabinet meeting states: “It is evident that many employees are struggling to cope with pay freezes/pay increases that are substantially below the rate of inflation.
“However, the requirement for the authority to continue to make financial savings is unchanged and it also needs to be mindful of the Government’s public sector pay targets.
“A further pay freeze has been discounted due to the need to maintain staff morale and offer salary levels that are competitive within local, regional and national labour markets.”
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Monday 20 May 2013
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