SBC staff agree pay freeze

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A THREE-year pay freeze saving Scottish Borders Council almost £5 million has been agreed with three trade unions.

The GMB, Unison and Unite endorsed the deal, in return for a promise of no compulsory redundancies for members.

The settlement also includes the launch of a Scottish Borders Living Wage of £7.15 per hour.

A Unison ballot backed the deal last Friday, and regional organiser Douglas Black said: “This agreement offers a real degree of stability and security for our members.”

The agreement includes suspension of the right of 5,000 non-teaching staff on over £21,000 a year, to an incremental pay increase as they move up pay-scales, starting tomorrow. Those earning less than £21,000 will be entitled to their normal incremental progression in 2011/12, but it will be frozen for 2012/13.

Eck Barclay, senior shop steward for Unite, said: “It is a lot to ask people to accept a total freeze, but I believe it is a sacrifice worth making if jobs can be protected.”

SBC leader David Parker said it was a “landmark deal”.