WIGAN Council have been praised by one of the country’s biggest trade unions for increasing council worker’s pay.
The GMB union has now urged other councils to follow Wigan Council’s example of giving an extra £250 to those earning less than £21,000 a year.
On Monday, the Wigan Evening Post reported that Wigan Metro will put the pay rise into affect from May, but be backdated to the beginning of April and the £250 payment will be spread over 12 months. While some town halls have decided to introduce the payment as a one-off, Wigan Council has decided to make it a permanent pay increase.
The news has been welcomed by the GMB.
Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary, said “Wigan Council is to be congratulated for having the decency and foresight to have budgeted for this pay rise despite the imposed cutbacks they are facing.
“The council has rightly recognised that they need to keep their staff motivated to deliver ever improving services to the people of Wigan and I’m sure the staff will respond. I would strongly encourage other councils to follow Wigan’s example.”
Council chief executive Donna Hall said: “The council is facing significant pressure on its budgets and we are faced with making cuts in order to protect front-line services.
“However, we appreciate the affects that the continued national pay freeze will have on our lowest paid members of staff and we want to support them through these difficult economic times.
“As a result the council has followed the Chancellor’s recommendations and we will be making this payment.
“Wigan is an excellent council and we have the hard work and professionalism of all our staff to thank for this. This is set against a backdrop of a time of considerable uncertainty and significant change, which makes the great work being completed even more exceptional.
“We are looking at ways we can recognise and reward this great work as we move forward.”