THE COUNCIL believes it is closing in on a deal with its staff to bring the much-prolonged equal pay negotiations to an end and adding an extra £4 million a year to the wages bill.
A report to the Full Council on Wednesday revealed that a majority of staff have indicated they are in support of the revised single status pay and conditions deals proposed in recent weeks. One new measure which seems to have gone down well is the plan to shut the council down over Christmas, giving everybody two days extra holiday.
Head of organisational development John Smith said the council now had the basis for bringing the process to a conclusion but there is still work to do over the next couple of months making adjustments before issuing formal offers.
The past few weeks have been spent in consultation with staff about their revised pay offers which were the fruits of talks held over the course of 16 months since a previous proposed deal collapsed. Unions are expected to ballot their members once formal offers are sent out.
Tug workers and other marine staff at Sella Ness and nursery nurses are excluded from the current process but will have their positions addressed later.
Councillor Caroline Miller, who has been involved with the process along with councillor Gary Robinson, said it had worked really well, which was shown by the lack of phone calls councillors had received. Mr Robinson agreed, saying he had not had a single call of complaint.
Chief executive Morgan Goodlad voiced a word of caution however, saying he did not want members to think everyone was content with the deal because they are not.