EOLG plans radical overhaul for national pay bargaining

Local government employers want to radically overhaul national pay
bargaining by including senior managers’ salaries in negotiations for the first
time.

Currently, national pay bargaining only includes pay grades from frontline
staff to middle managers.

Rob Pinkham, deputy executive director at the Employers’ Organisation for
Local Government (EOLG), which negotiates pay on behalf of local authorities,
intends to include all management grades below chief officer level in next
year’s deal.

Pinkham said the pay scale has not evolved with the changing shape of the
sector.

"I am sure we must reform the pay spine next year," said Pinkham.
"It needs expanding upwards. Specialist managers have come in to local
government so it must cover more jobs. It needs reform and we must take this
opportunity," he added.

Pinkham also stated that in future deals there would be no bottom loading,
which gives larger pay increases to low paid staff to reduce the pay gap
between them and managers.

Instead, he said, there must be a greater commitment to training low-paid
frontline staff to increase their value to authorities and improve retention.

"We may have lost the plot on this [bottom loading] in the past,"
said Pinkham. "We must improve the path out of these jobs by giving them
more skills so they are more productive and councils can afford to pay them
more."

Speaking at last week’s annual conference of local government HR body Socpo
in Brighton, Pinkham said the national pay bargaining structure might be under
threat because "councils are going along at different speeds".

By Paul Nelson

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