Northamptonshire council staff have been promised a 4% pay rise from April – their first increase in three years.
The announcement to staff came at a briefing on next year‘s budget. “People clapped when the pay rise was announced,” UNISON branch secretary Kev Standishday told the local newspaper, The Northampton Chronicle.
“It is more than we expected and is to be welcomed, although it would be good if it came now rather than next year.”
Staff will also receive an extra day of holiday on 27 December this year.
The county council is planning to increase council tax by nearly 4% in next year’s budget, including an additional 2% on the social care budget.
The 2020 budget still has to be approved by the council cabinet next week before being consulted on and finally agreed at February’s full council meeting.
This will be the county’s last budget before it is abolished in April 2021. Services will then be run by two unitary authorities, West Northamptonshire and North Northamptonshire, incorporating the current district councils. This is part of a county-wide shake-up of local government following last year’s financial meltdown.
The county council was effectively declared bankrupt after its budget was rejected in early 2018 and commissioners were sent into the authority later that year to oversee its finances.
UNISON national head of local government Jon Richards welcomed the news of a pay increase, saying: “We know how tough it has been in Northamptonshire for our members. They have faced waves of cuts and job losses and still managed to deliver vital services for the public.
“The increase is justly deserved and some compensation for the falling of value of their pay over the last 10 years.
“Hopefully, the Local Government Association will see this local offer as a starting point and meet in full our national claim for a 10% pay increase for all council and school workers.”
For more background, see our 2018 article: The continuing crisis in Northamptonshire