Proposed Pay Cut: Suffolk County Council

Published on 17 December 2018 by Suffolk County UNISON

Urgent Update

Following the important email we sent out to members on Friday – here is the all important update on the UNISON campaign fighting the pay cut at Suffolk County Council.

Read the update and then complete the survey – EVERY UNISON MEMBER must have their say on Pay.  Follow the link in blue at the bottom of this email.

Mandatory Unpaid Leave?

We are sorry to say that the Council still propose to cut your pay by making deductions from your salary  each month. However they now wish to get a one year agreement with UNISON.   They want us to agree to one days mandatory unpaid leave in 2019/20, rather than 2. 

Is this progress?
  • It is still a pay cut. Your pay would still be deducted each month and here is an illustration of how much. (SCC have only provided figures for top and bottom of grades at this point in time)


Reduction per Annum Gross

Reduction per Month

3 bottom



3 top



4 bottom



4 top



5 bottom



5 top



6 bottom



6 top



7 bottom



7 top



8 bottom



8 top




It’s a pay cut for you, which is going to save the Council a measly £250k!  That is pretty much the total cost of the new Director of People – a post which was created during the same week that the staff pay cut was announced!  Why are staff picking up the bill for the budget overspend?

Only for one year – what’s going to change?

Will SCC finances be in a better position after this time? We put this to SCC and they told us:

We don’t know exactly what the future holds for local government finances because much of this is set by government through their settlements or changes in approach

Code for – nothing is going to get better for LG finance – we all know that, but we think we’ll be able to get away with this. If we get staff to agree a pay cut for one year now it will be easier to get it passed them again next year. And the year after that......

Suffolk County Council – We are not stupid!

Why are SCC making staff take a pay cut when there is plenty of money in reserves?

We asked why the reserves, which are considered to be at a “reasonable” level, cannot be used to cover this saving  They replied:

It is suggested that when taken in the round, this is a reasonable and fair proposal for staff and reserves need to be protected as much as possible.

Nonsense! This is an ideological choice to punish staff!

Pay Progression

Thanks to you – UNISON members - there’s been some movement on this. The Council is now offering progression (for those not already at the top of the bar/grade) based on:

  • Individual criteria – specifically if you have a rating that falls within any green box of the 9 box grid.
  • If you have worked within SCC for over 6 months.
  • If you have not been in receipt of a formal warning at any point during the PDR year
What do we think?

No other Council in Suffolk has seen a stop to increments. After 5 years of  increment freezes this is the very least you deserve!  It’s something that you are entitled to and it is long overdue that progression is reinstated.  This isn’t a win.  After years of SCC falling behind neighbouring authorities, SCC have a long way to go before we start to view this as a success on pay! Particularly when the plan is to give it to you with one hand, then claw it back with the other!

What happens now?

Every UNISON member must complete our survey.

We need you to instruct us to tell SCC: We will not accept a Pay Cut!!

If you have not had the survey please contact the branch (details below).

The survey closes at 9am on Monday 7th January.  Make sure you have your say – we will not accept a pay cut at SCC.

In solidarity


Suffolk County UNISON
St Peter House
35 Rope Walk
Ipswich IP4 1NA

Tel: 01473 263100