Northampton

Northamptonshire County Council staff 'shocked' at pay cut

A union representing county council staff in Northamptonshire said its members were "unbelievably shocked" by proposals to cut wages.

Up to 7,000 staff could face a 3.6% pay reduction from next April or alternatively have their sick pay cut.

The Tory-run authority said resources were so stretched that it had "no option".

Rachelle Wilkins, from the GMB Union, said the plan was "fundamentally harsh".

Mrs Wilkins added: "The cuts are being driven by central government. These employees have not had a pay rise for four years."

Northamptonshire County Council said it told the trade unions about the plans at a meeting last week and two options were given.

One option is a 3.6% pay cut and the other, considered by the council, would see changes to employees' terms and conditions by reducing sick pay, having mandatory unpaid leave and opting out of the national pay structure.

In a statement, Northamptonshire County Council said: "Over the last few years the council has seen significant reductions in the number of employees, so much so that it is felt many services are now stretched to capacity.

"This means we are now left with no option but to look at employment costs rather than even more redundancies than currently forecast."

Brendan Glynane, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: "It is crystal clear from the Conservatives' actions that they do not believe that 'we're all in this together'."

A 90-day consultation period has begun with the unions.

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