Pay hike for Northumberland County Council staff

All Northumberland County Council staff are set to receive a pay rise of at least two per cent from this month.

Northumberland County Council
Northumberland County Council

And some workers will receive a ‘significant annual increase’ as the bottom rate of the new pay spine is to get ahead of the National Living Wage, meaning the local authority will have a minimum rate of £9 per hour and £17,364 a year for all employees.

The new salary structure, which is to be endorsed by the council’s decision-making cabinet at its meeting on Monday (April 29), follows the National Joint Council for England and Wales (NJC) and trade unions agreeing a new pay spine with effect from April 1 this year, as part of a two-year agreement.

The NJC represents local authorities and their employees, with its principal role being to reach agreement on a national scheme of pay and conditions to then be applied locally.

The NJC guidance did not set out a specific approach to adopting the new pay spine and councils had to consider various options and present formal proposals which were then subject to local negotiations and agreement.

The outcome in Northumberland, which was the preferred option of trade unions, is that all staff on county-council terms, conditions and pay bands willreceive a minimum of a two per cent pay increase from April 1 this year.

A revised pay structure will see staff on NJC terms and conditions being placed on a lower ‘spinal column point’, however, they will see an increase to their full-time-equivalent salary. No member of staff will receive a pay reduction.

The county council will also have a minimum hourly pay rate of £9 and £17,364 per year for all employees.

This means that the Northumberland Living Wage supplement, introduced in 2015 to increase hourly salaries to a minimum of £7.85, is obsolete going forward.

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service