Adult social workers set for pay rise '“ but budget fears raised

SOME adult social care workers in Portsmouth could see their salaries rise by several thousand pounds a year - if 'overdue' changes are approved.

Monday, 23rd July 2018, 4:56 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd July 2018, 5:04 pm

In a report to the city council it was revealed that some adult social care staff would have wages reassessed by an independent body, known as a Fair Felt panel.

It could cost the council upwards of £108,000 in the next year and £281,000 over the following four years.

The workers include independent support assistants, higher grade social workers and management information officers. Each role could see pay rise by £3,000 a year.

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Andy Biddle, the council's acting assistant director of adult social care, said: 'All jobs within the council are given a salary banding based on what the role is required to do and the skills needed. Over time, where staff consider that the duties and responsibilities of any job have evolved and changed, they can request a re-evaluation. When this happens an independent panel considers the re-evaluation in comparison to other positions in the organisation.'

The council's health boss, Cllr Matthew Winnington, welcomed the changes. Speaking at a health, wellbeing and social care meeting, he said: 'It came from a staff-led survey. I do think that as staff have gone through that process we have to honour that process.'

 However, Tory councillor Luke Stubbs was concerned the council would struggle to cover the additional costs.

He said: '˜We have upgraded the pay in children's services so we have to upgrade pay in adult services. The problem with that is the budget doesn't go up as these costs do. I am concerned about staying in budget here as we don't know where we will get the £281,000.'

But some felt the rise was little too late. James Smith, regional organiser of Unison South East, said: 'Unison welcomes the news that staff are due to receive the recognition they deserve for working at a higher level than they have been paid for such a long time. This will make a considerable difference to them at a time when costs of living have been rising.

'We would expect the pay increase to be backdated and going forward we will be seeking to ensure a fair pay structure for all staff who undertake social work or occupational therapy roles, many of whom are Unison members. The proposal is a start but does not yet fully answer staff recruitment, retention and career progression issues.'

Most of the reviews mean a one-band increase for the workers. However, management information officers could go from a band eight to 11, bumping them from between £28,221 to £30,755 a year to £38,052 to £41,846.