Councillor Doreen Jones, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services and Equalities introduced the report and recommended it to Council for approval for publication on the Council’s website.
Members queried why the Council only paid 47% of its gross expenditure on salaries where other Councils, as advised in the Local Government Association, Guidance for Councillors that Councils can spend in excess of 50% of the gross revenue expenditure. Officers explained that this would be raised with the Director of Finance and Corporate Services, but that the rates of pay are paid in line with the nationally agreed set of pay scales. Councils do agree terms and conditions on an individual basis with trade unions. This Council reduced its terms and conditions in 2018 as an alternative to redundancies which was negotiated with trade union colleagues. Size of the workforce would also impact on the expenditure that each Council has in regard to salaries.
It was highlighted that some other Councils offer discount schemes to employees. Does this Council have any similar schemes? Officers explained that there are a variety of schemes available to staff. The Health and Wellbeing Group was established to offer employees the opportunity to join the group to access a variety of benefits one of which was discounts at high street stores. Employee also are able to access Celtic Leisure at discounted prices. The Council also has a Cycle to Work initiative which allows staff to access cycles and equipment and pay for it via a salary sacrifice scheme. The remuneration package offered to employees was based on the recommendation based on the national pay bargaining which is set for the Council at a national level.
Members were pleased to see that the gap between the lowest and highest pay was reducing taking into account responsibilities of roles. Members asked that in future consideration could be given on a national level to award pay rises via monetary value rather than percentage which would be of advantage to the lower paid.
That the Pay Policy Statement for 2021/2022 be published on the Council’s website.