Wyre Forest District Council has announced that further negotiations with UNISON and GMB have produced an improved deal on future pay increases for its employees.

At its meeting on 27 September, the Council endorsed increases that would have been worth a total of 4.5% over four years and authorised the Chief Executive to commence a final period of negotiations with staff and unions.

Following further negotiations, the two unions have conducted consultative ballots of their members on an improved potential pay settlement worth 4.25% over three years. An overwhelming majority of members of both UNISON and GMB supported the revised proposals. This now paves the way for a new collective agreement to be signed, once the deal receives the formal backing of the Council on 14 December.

Councillor Nathan Desmond, the Cabinet Member for Resources, said “I am very pleased that the further period of negotiation has allowed us to reach a deal with the unions on pay. I will be recommending to my fellow Councillors that they endorse the settlement negotiated by the Chief Executive. A three year collective agreement will give staff certainty about their income as well as give the Council certainty that will allow us to plan our finances.”

 “We need that certainty because we estimate that we will need to find another £2m in extra income and cost savings by 2020-21 because of changes in how local councils are funded.

Councillor Marcus Hart, the Leader of the Council, said “Our priority was to find a pay solution that was affordable to the Council as well as fair to staff. Our position was to avoid a deal that would mean shedding jobs.  I am pleased that we have been able to do that.

“We have demonstrated an excellent track record in making savings while at the same time preserving public services that local communities value and protecting jobs for our valued employees. I support the improved pay deal because it will enable that work to continue.”