Members considered a report which provided them with an update in respect of the current position regarding the National Pay Award which introduced changes to the National Pay Spines and the impact of this on the Council.
The Human Resources and Organisational Development Manager explained the background to the report and in so doing highlighted a number of points, including the following:
· As part of the two year pay award agreed nationally new national pay spines needed to be implemented from 1st April 2019.
· In order to close the significant gap this had created new spinal column points in some cases.
· That although this Council and Bromsgrove District Council (BDC) had the same Job Evaluation Scheme, the pay models differed, which resulted in a level of risk of equal pay claims.
· The introduction of the National Pay Spines gave the opportunity to combine both authorities’ pay models and therefore reduce that risk.
· The proposals before Members had been informally discussed with the Trades Unions, but formal consultation would take place once agreement at full Council was achieved.
· Councillor Chance made the point that normally when consultation was undertaken this was on more than one option which was not the case in this instance. Notwithstanding this the Labour Group would support the recommendation as long as the unions were in agreement.
· The main differences between the schemes of each authority were highlighted, with an example of the differing levels of pay.
· A new joint pay scale would go towards meeting some of the issues raised in the Peer Review.
Following presentation of the report Members discussed a number of areas in more detail:
· Implications of the current differing schemes on staff morale.
· The preferred option was to bring this Council’s scheme in line with that used by BDC.
· The matter would be considered at BDC Cabinet and Council on 16th and 23rd January respectively.
· The importance of having the Trades Unions’ support and holding meaningful consultation with them.
· The importance of staff relations and morale.
Following a further brief discussion it was
a) Model 1 be adopted and implemented with effect from 1st April 2019;
b) the commencement of formal consultation with the Trade unions with a view to reaching a Collective Agreement to implement a joint pay model across both Councils in lines with the revised National Pay Spine be agreed; and
c) the commencement of a Dismissal and Re-engagement process in the event that a collective agreement is not achieved be agreed.