Issue details

Pay Award 2019/2020

Annual Pay Award for SCDC employees


South Cambridgeshire District Council has a local agreement with 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 2018, that agreement had been reached with trade unions for a two year pay deal. Broadly, this was 2% across the majority of the NJC pay scale with additional percentage increases for the lowest spinal column points (SCP).


Local pay discussions and negotiations with the recognised trade unions at SCDC (GMB and Unison) have taken place. The trade unions submitted a pay claim which has been taken into account during negotiations.


The Council, through negotiation during 2018, agreed a two year pay award. For 2018/2019 this was for 1% on all pay points plus the equalisation of annual leave and reimbursement of professional fees.  For 2019/2020, it was agreed that 2% would be paid on all pay points.




·         The Trade unions submitted a pay claim to the Council. The claim was for a minimum increase of 5% for all staff. This is significantly in excess of the nationally agreed pay award negotiated and agreed with national employers and trade unions. Cabinet were made aware of this pay claim.

·         The ‘new’ National Living Wage is currently £7.83ph for 25year olds and over. This will rise to £8.21.

·         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 £8.75ph (outside of London). The new rate of £9.00ph was announced in November 2018.

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

·         The 2019/2020 budget was agreed by Council on 21 February 2019, 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 £310K which is within agreed budgets

·         The impact of applying the Living Wage Foundation rate of £9.00ph from 1.4.19 is £4.8K (includes £4k on HRA), this will be within service budgets

·         The National Living Wage is anticipated to reach £9.00ph by 2020. Currently this has minimal impact on SCDC current grades, the Council does not employ any staff, below the National Minimum or National Living Wage.

·         The Living Wage Foundation rate is currently higher than SCDC pay rates in Grade1. The rate is currently £9.00ph (confirmed in November 2018).  If the rates continue to increase as predicted it will impact on SCDC Grade 2 pay rates. In this scenario, the Council will need to consider a review of pay scales.




The Council has been in discussions and negotiations with the recognised trade unions for the purpose of reaching an acceptable pay deal.


GMB and Unison balloted their members. They have confirmed that the pay deal has been accepted.


The Council has ensured that all SCDC staff have received regular communications in relation to the negotiations and pay offer.




It is recommended that the Council:

a)     applies a 2%increase on all pay points with effect from 1st April 2019 or the Living Wage rate (effective at 1 April 2019) of £9.00 per hour, whichever is the highest, with effect from 1st April 2019.


The decision for 2019/2020 is within approved budget provision. The MTFS and 2019/2020 budget received Council approval 0n 21 February 2019.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Significant Expenditure or Savings;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Notice of proposed decision first published: 27/02/2019

Decision due: 27 February 2019 by Lead Cabinet member for Finance

Lead member: Lead Cabinet member for Finance

Lead director: Executive Director

Contact: Susan Gardner Craig, Interim Director of Corporate Services Email: Tel: 01954 713285.


Cabinet has been briefed and are supportive of the approached outlined in the recommendations above. Cabinet confirmed their support for the Lead Cabinet Member Finance and Staffing to make the decision.


Agenda items