COUNCIL staff will get a pay rise in April with the lowest paid members earning up to seven per cent more.

New pay grades mean that the bottom rate of pay will be £9.00, up by 50p and beating the national minimum by 79p.

The two-year pay deal was negotiated at a national level and will benefit most council staff except for teachers.

The new pay spine applies to all National Joint Council (NJC) members which includes town hall officers, school support staff and other office workers.

Hourly wages in the lowest pay grade will increase by almost six per cent. Some lower-paid workers will see their annual salary boosted by as much as £1,202 to £18,065.

Women outnumber the men in the lowest pay grade by 893 to 94, as of October 2018.

The gender pay gap for all employees in the Council is more than a fifth.

Meanwhile, the highest-paid NJC members will be on £51,328, a rise of almost two per cent. This top grade pay increase is in line with the annual rate of inflation which was measured at two per cent in December according to the consumer price index.

The chief executive rate of pay tops out at £175,000 with executive directors earning up to £122,058.

In total, this change will cost the local authority an additional £703,051.35 over the year.

The changes were approved at cabinet meeting last week. Now, the trade unions will speak with their members and prepare to sign a collective agreement.

If an agreement is not reached, the council may not be able to implement the new pay grades on April 1.

UNISON North West lead for local government John Lewis welcomed the wage increase but said it does not compensate council staff for years of real wage cuts.

Local government has the lowest paid workers in the public sector, according to Mr Lewis.

He said: “Poverty pay means local authorities are struggling to attract and hold on to staff, and those left are doing more for less. There is an urgent need for greater investment in local government staff and services.”