Tyne & Wear

Newcastle City Council staff £3,800 pay cut reconsidered

Newcastle Civic Centre
Image caption Newcastle City Council says it needs to save £30m by the end of next year

Council plans to axe shift allowances, cutting some staff pay by more than £3,800 a year, are being reconsidered.

Newcastle City Council said it needed to make cuts of £30m by the end of 2017 and removing weekend and night payments would save £2.5m.

The Labour-run authority said it believed it had found alternative savings, subject to consultation.

Cabinet member for resources, Veronica Dunn, said the proposed cuts had been "a last resort".

"It is good news that we have found an alternative approach," she said.

'Budget shortfall'

This potentially includes a further reduction of management posts and improving the performance of the council pension fund so planned financial support for the scheme can be reduced.

The authority also said because the statutory living wage announced by the government was lower than expected the costs of some services costs would lower than forecast.

These savings would still leave a budget shortfall of £300,000, meaning further savings would need to be explored, the council said.

"The staff themselves have responded constructively, coming forward with savings proposals of their own - many of which we are actively considering," Ms Dunn said.

The plan to end allowances paid to weekend and night workers would have affected 1,862 staff - about a third of the workforce - preventing the need for 100 redundancies, the council said.

The financial loss for those affected would have ranged from £331 to £3,831.

The Unison, GMB, Unite and Ucatt unions had called the proposals "a disgrace".

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