A PAY increase for the lowest paid council staff has been proposed amid the cost of living crisis.

Brighton and Hove City Council said to help address financial pressures and concerns, councillors on the policy and resources committee will discuss increasing pay on Thursday, July 7.

The proposal would see the council’s bottom pay grade removed entirely, and the lowest paid staff receive a pay increase to above the national pay awards agreed each year.

It would benefit about 3,800 staff, including 2,500 who work in schools. The lowest paid staff would receive an annual increase of £1,752 (pro rata for part time staff) - an increase of more than 9 per cent.

In a joint letter to all council staff, chief executive Geoff Raw and council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty shared details of the increased pay, and said “as an employer that cares about both the city we serve and our staff, we’re here to support wherever we can.”

“The council has a long-standing commitment to ensure that its pay and benefits are competitive and demonstrate how staff are valued and supported to serve the city,” they said.

“In the context of the current cost of living crisis, the national pay negotiations for 2022-2023 and the challenging financial context, the council has been working to develop proposals to improve pay for our lowest paid staff that go further than the decision to remove our bottom grades.”

Since an agreement in October 2021 to abolish the council’s lowest pay scales, further discussions and collaborative work has taken place with both GMB and Unison trade unions to see what more could be done to increase the salaries of the council’s lowest paid staff.

If councillors agree to the proposals, the council will seek to implement the changes and backdate pay increases to January 1, 2022.

Brighton and Hove City Council also reminded those living in the city that financial help is available on their website.

“If you’re facing a crisis and need help, the council can provide welfare advice, discretionary payments and other support,” a council spokesman said.

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