Decision details

Pay Award 2020-2021

Decision Maker: Lead Cabinet member for Finance

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Annual Pay Award for SCDC employees


South Cambridgeshire District Council has a local agreement with recognised trade unions which covers negotiation of local terms and conditions, pay scales and pay awards. In considering annual pay offers and agreements the council takes account of national pay negotiations, local job market forces and affordability.


The Local Government Association advised local government employers in April 2020, that a final pay offer had been made to Trade Unions and rejected. It was accepted that agreement was unlikely to be reached at the present time.  The impact of the COVID19 crisis and lockdown restrictions has also affected the progress of discussions.


Local pay discussions and negotiations with the recognised trade unions at SCDC (GMB and Unison) had commenced prior to CV19 lockdown but have been suspended for the reasons highlighted above. The trade unions submitted a pay claim which has been taken into account during discussions.


It was agreed by the council and trade unions that formal local negotiations would be suspended until such time that details of the terms of any national pay agreement were available.


The Covid19 crisis has meant that Trade Unions, staff and Members have been focused on delivering support and services to residents and businesses in a way which is safe for all.   Employees have been working to maintain services and deliver new ones and Members and Leadership Team felt that staff salaries should be increased by 2%, which was approved in the 2020/2021 budget.


Trade Unions have been consulted on this and have agreed to this increase. The caveat being that formal discussions are resumed once the national position is clear.




1.   Trade Unions submitted a pay claim for 2020/2021 to the Council. The claim included the following:

-       A percentage across the board increase on all salary points and allowances that at a bare minimum matches the NJC award.

-       A minimum pay point of £10 per hour or similar ‘bottom loading’

-       A joint review on the causes of workplace stress (using the HSE management Stress Standards) 

-       Car-loan scheme to compensate staff who travel between sites (old Essential users)

-        A one day increase to the minimum paid annual leave entitlement

Cabinet were made aware of this pay claim.


2.   Other factors

·         The statutory National Living Wage is currently £8.21ph for 25year-olds and over. This will rise to £8.72.

·         The ‘Real Living Wage’ set by the Living Wage Foundation, at the time of the Council’s final pay offer to trade unions and union ballot was £9.30ph (outside of London).

·         Current policy is that South Cambridgeshire District Council should have regard to the Living Wage when reviewing annual pay awards for Council employees.

·         The 2020/2021 budget was agreed by Council in February 2020, this makes provision for a 2% increase on salaries for this financial year.

·         The Lead Cabinet Member can only approve a pay award within planned budget levels. Approval for a percentage increase above 2% would need to be considered and approved by Full Council.

·         It should be noted that Member allowances are increased by the equivalent percentage amount.



Financial modelling has been undertaken to assess the impact of the NJC pay deal and Living Wage:

·         The impact of applying a 2% increase on all SCDC pay points is within agreed budgets.


To approve a 2% increase on all pay points with effect from 1 April 2020.

Reasons for the decision:

A 2% increase to pay was agreed in the 2020/2021 budget in February.

Alternative options considered:

To wait for the finalisation of the national local government pay negotiations before resolving the 2020/2021 pay award for SCDC staff

Reason for Rejection: Employees are delivering all council services and much more during the current crisis as they focus on supporting our communities and business.  Many staff will also be feeling the impacts of reductions to household incomes as family members are furloughed or redundant. Our direct neighbouring council has already agreed and implemented a pay award and the council wishes to mitigate the risk of staff moving to jobs elsewhere.

Publication date: 23/06/2020

Date of decision: 23/06/2020

Effective from: 01/07/2020

Accompanying Documents: