Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Council High-Earners Could Get Pay Rise As Staff Face Pay Squeeze

High-earning Cambridgeshire County Council officers could get a pay increase just weeks after the rest of the staff were told they face a pay cut and even possible redundancy.

 The news has come as a huge blow to staff who received a letter in July from Chief Executive, Mark Lloyd warning they faced a pay cut of up to three per cent or the loss of a similar amount through changes to their employment terms and conditions.

If these measures failed to deliver the savings to help the county council balance its books, redundancy could be on the cards they were warned.

The proposal to give the council’s high earners a pay rise has angered the county’s Liberal Democrats who claim it is “devastating for staff morale”.

 County Lib Dem leader, Maurice Leeke said: “Cutting the pay of the lowest paid to give more to the high-earners cannot be justified in any organisation, and there is certainly no excuse for it in the public sector. This is an appalling example of double standards and will be devastating for staff morale.”

 Members of the council’s Appointments and Remuneration Committee are to discuss the proposal set out in the Corporate Leadership Team Pay Review 2013/14 on Monday (September 16) as the council faces making savings of £32 million in the next year.

Mr Lloyd told staff in a letter that the council is facing “unprecedented times” and there are “difficult budget choices” to make.

He said the council’s current employment costs stand at £128 million a year and the figure will need to be reduced by at least three million a year which could mean a two or three per cent pay cut for staff.

Other options being explored include changes to employment terms and conditions including reducing subsistence payments, freezing pay increments or a reduction in sick pay benefits.

If these options or a combination of options cannot deliver the necessary savings there may be no other choice than to consider higher levels of redundancies, he warned.

Ian Manning, Lib Dem Spokesperson on Resources said: "What happened to ‘We're all in it together'?  Just like the Lib Dems voted against raising councillor allowances at a time where staff pay has been frozen, so we should expect the same leadership from senior management."