Page last updated at 14:43 GMT, Wednesday, 1 October 2008 15:43 UK

Hundreds face council wage cuts

Bolton Town Hall
The council will enter a period of consultation on the results with unions

Up to 1,700 staff at Bolton Council face a pay cut after a salary review.

Every local authority in England has had to conduct a review as part of the national equal pay law to bring women's wages in line with men's.

Of the 10,000 employees reviewed, 17% will be paid less, 39% will get a pay rise and the rest will see their pay packets remain the same.

The council said those facing a pay cut would have their salaries frozen at their current level until January 2012.

The council will enter a period of consultation on the results of this review with trade unions and staff over the coming month.

Delivering a pay review of this magnitude presents huge challenges
Sean Harriss, chief executive of Bolton Council

Sean Harriss, chief executive of Bolton Council, said: "Our aim in carrying out this nationally agreed review has been to develop a pay structure which ensures that the different groups of staff that we employ at Bolton Council are paid and rewarded consistently.

"Delivering a pay review of this magnitude presents huge challenges and ensuring the welfare of our staff has been a priority."

'Lose pay'

Most of those whose salaries have been increased are among the council's lowest paid employees including caring and catering staff, he added.

Councillor Cliff Morris, Leader of the Bolton Council, said: "We appreciate this will be a difficult and challenging period for some staff personally, and for the council as a whole.

"Every effort has been made to minimise the impact of the review on both the staff affected directly by it and to council tax payers.

"The long-term cost of the review will be met from efficiencies which have been made, and will continue to be made, across the council with no impact on existing services."

The trade union, Unison, is consulting its members over the council's proposals.

"We are determined to ensure that all resources are made available to properly reward staff, now the employer is facing up to their responsibilities on equality, and are very concerned about the impact on staff who may lose pay as a result of this exercise," a spokesman said.

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