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SHEFFIELD DROPS PAY SCHEME

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Around 80 of Sheffield City Council's most senior staff have agreed to the abolition of performance related pay awa...
Around 80 of Sheffield City Council's most senior staff have agreed to the abolition of performance related pay awards, five years after the scheme was introduced.

The change, to be endorsed by a full council meeting on 6 October, will save the council around £150,000 in the current financial year.

In March, staff including chief officers agreed a one year deal cutting pay by 3.75% in return for seven days additional leave to help the council balance its budget and avoid compulsory redundancies.

The council then gave notice that it intended to abolish PRP as part of an overall package of measures designed to make substantial savings.

This year Sheffield has had to deal with a £50 million budget gap. City treasurer Malcolm Newman has suggested that next year it could face a shortfall of £30P£40m.

Deputy chief personnel officer Keith Thrustle said senior members had been expressing concerns about the PRP scheme for some time.

But the move to abolish it was resisted by Joint Negotiating Committee staff who had become accustomed to an additional payment of up to 15% of their basic salary.

Lengthy negotiations eventually led to a deal which offered JNC staff a consolidated payment of 5%P7% in return for the abolition.

Commenting on the deal put forward by the Provincial Joint Secretaries, MPO branch secretary Terry Smith said: 'It represents an acceptable compromise, a solution we were happy to recommend to our members given the financial position of the council and the sacrifices made by other sections of the workforce'.

Union representatives of white collar and manual and craft employees welcomed the scheme's demise.

'The system was totally discredited', said Unison's Jed Turner. 'Payments bore little or no relation to the actual performance of managers. Chief officers set their own targets and then went on to assess whether they had achieved them'.

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