Union demands pay rise for council staff who refused to sign up to performance-related wages

County Hall
County Hall

A union is demanding that Bucks County Council give pay rises to nearly 200 staff who refused to sign up to performance-related wages.

Unison says the authority should review its stance on the 173 staff who did not sign up for contribution based pay in 2012, when the authority offered £750 to each employee to transfer from increases based on time served.

The union says it is unfair that the council has awarded school based support staff a 1% pay award but are offering nothing to other council workers still on the old contract, called Bucks Pay.

Branch secretary Penny Gray said: “We feel this loss of pay is not only detrimental to the wellbeing of those 173 staff, it compromises the working relationship between employer & employee.

“It is grossly unfair & cannot be justified. These 173 staff who remain on Bucks Pay are not having their continuing contribution recognised.

“They are subject to exactly the same performance scrutiny as their colleagues , therefore we feel that they have effectively been shut out of the pay award process, This is not acceptable or sustainable.

“For 123 of those staff this will actually be the fifth year of a pay freeze.

“We urge Bucks County Council to accept that that all staff are worth rewarding and re-instate parity.”

A county council spokesman said: “Staff who stayed on Bucks Pay did so out of choice. The council carried out extensive briefings and communications with all employees to enable them to make an informed choice about whether to move to the new, flexible contribution based pay system or to remain on Bucks Pay.

“The overwhelming majority of staff (90%) opted to move to contribution based pay.

Contribution based pay is a much more modern system of pay that rewards employee’s contribution to council performance rather than simply on time served.”

He said of the division between schools and other council staff: “In June 2013 we decided to separate schools from Bucks Pay to provide a more tailored approach to pay consultation for staff employed in schools.

“The change was negotiated and agreed with Unison in August 2013.

“We consulted widely with managers in schools and with employees in schools during the recent consultation on pay awards. The views obtained were fully taken into account by members prior to any decision being taken.”