NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Aberdeen City Council delays pay rises decision

Aberdeen City Council has delayed a decision on plans to hold back incremental pay rises for staff to save money.

About 6,000 council staff would normally have expected a rise to push them further up the pay scale.

But last week the city council revealed it would have to make about £120m of savings over the next five years.

Councillors have now deferred the decision until August pending union negotiations.

The Lib Dem/SNP administration had initially proposed scrapping the annual increase this year to save £4.5m.

These rises work by pushing staff further up the salary band for their job every year as they grow in experience and expertise.

A consultation with staff and unions has been ongoing for several months, and members of the finance committee recently voted 10 to four in favour of withholding the incremental rise.

Budget pressures

Unions have been threatening both legal and industrial action if incrementals are scrapped.

The full council was expected to reach a decision on Wednesday, but it was deferred.

Council leader John Stewart denied the delay was a climb-down amid concerns the authority could lose any court action.

He had earlier said unions had to understand the budget pressures being felt across the public sector.

The plan came as council workers across Scotland vote on whether to accept their standard pay rise.

Workers are voting on a three-year pay offer, worth 1% this year - with a pay freeze next year and a 0.5% rise in 2012.

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