Some county council salaries in Hertfordshire could be cut as part of ‘Future Workforce’ review

The ongoing review was highlighted at a meeting of the county council’s overview and scrutiny committee

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 7:09 am

Hertfordshire County Council is reviewing the salaries of large numbers of employees – with some salaries expected to be cut.

As part of ‘Future Workforce’ the terms and conditions of employment of a large number of the county council’s staff are being reviewed.

That review, according to the county council, is designed to ‘bring about a simpler, more transparent workforce structure’ – reducing the number of job descriptions and creating a smaller number of ‘job families’.

The ongoing review was highlighted at a meeting of the county council’s overview and scrutiny committee

And it is said to be the first time the pay and grading structure at the county council has been reviewed in more than 15 years.

According to the director of resources Scott Crudgington, as a result of the review salaries for some roles are expected to increase – bringing them back in line with job markets for similar roles in the South East.

And salaries for other roles will be looked at to ensure they are in line with comparable roles elsewhere in the council.

Mr Crudgington says there is an expectation that pay for most posts will remain ‘in a similar range’ to existing levels, following the review.

But in those cases where existing pay levels are found to be ‘above market rates’, he says post holders would be placed on ‘pay protection’ – protecting their existing pay for two years.

The ongoing review was highlighted at a meeting of the county council’s overview and scrutiny committee on Wednesday, September 15.

And following the meeting, Mr Crudgington said: “The Future Workforce project is an ongoing project to review the pay structure and contractual terms and conditions across Hertfordshire County Council.

“The review seeks to bring about a simpler, more transparent workforce structure by reducing the number of job descriptions and instead placing them in a simplified, smaller number of job families.

“In common with pay reviews, it is expected that most pay will remain in the similar range to what it is now.

“However for a minority of posts where it evidences the existing pay is above the market rate, the individual post holder will be placed on pay protection where their pay will be protected for two years.”

Mr Crudgington has said that over time any pay and grading structure would begin to become ‘inconsistent’ – with comparable jobs not graded in a comparable way.

And he says that from an equalities point of view there was a need to make sure the right pay was ‘paid fairly across all roles in the council’.

He told councillors that negotiations had been taking place with recognised trade unions – with a ballot ongoing.

And following the meeting he said: “Negotiation with Unison has taken place in regard to pay and terms and conditions and is currently subject a live ballot that will close on 30th September 2021.

“Hertfordshire County Council prides itself on being an employer of choice and undertaking this review will play a key part in ensuring we attract and retain the very best employees and continue to be a high performing organisation fit for the future.”