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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

ANBC | Two hundred council workers to benefit from pay rise

Almost 200 Antrim and Newtownabbey council staff are set to benefit from a pay rise following agreement by the local authority to introduce Real Living Wage payments.

From April 1, it was agreed that all council staff will be paid at least the Real Living Wage of £9.90 per hour.

The SDLP proposal was ratified at a meeting of the borough council on Monday evening.

Commenting on social media after the meeting, Antrim SDLP Councillor Roisin Lynch said:

“While at least 199 staff members will benefit from this pay rise, I acknowledge that sub-contracted staff have not been included but agency staff may still benefit. I would like to reassure them that we will not stop working on this issue until everyone receives fair pay and working conditions.”

The council’s Policy and Governance Committee is to discuss staff pay at a meeting next Wednesday evening in response to correspondence from the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA).

NILGA has asked for the council’s position for the 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 pay awards to “help inform the collective position for Northern Ireland”.

The 2021 pay deal included a 1.75% pay increase for council staff across Northern Ireland which has prompted industrial action among Unite trade union members which is taking place this week and is set to continue next week from May 3 until May 8.

Unite says a 1.75 per cent pay rise is “completely unacceptable” and “follows the failure of employers to provide an improved pay offer to workers” urging them to “address the pay expectations of their workforce”.

Some schools and school bus services are also affected as well as some Housing Executive maintenance.

A report to be presented to Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors at next week’s meeting says that NILGA has advised of potential for the National Living Wage to increase to at least £10.50 this year and £11.33 in 2023.

“NILGA wish to engage early with councils given the expected difficulties for the 2022/2023 and 2023/2024 pay negotiations,” the report stated.

The lowest pay point for council staff in Antrim and Newtownabbey has increased from £9.50 to £9.79 per hour.

Councillors have been advised that the estimates for pay increases have been based on a 2.5% pay increase for 2022/2023 and 2023/2024.


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