Pay cannot just be increased in line with neighbouring authorities, councillors have been told, with recruitment a national issue in some sectors.
Cabinet member for finance Cllr Bob Kilmister said pay and condition reviews were more complicated with national, regional and trade union agreements to be considered as well as the “many, many millions of pounds” that would be required to fund it.
Members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s corporate overview and scrutiny committee were discussing the period six budget monitoring report on Thursday (November 18) when staff vacancies in the finance and social care sector was highlighted and councillors called for more to be done to compete with salaries in Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire.
Cllr Tom Tudor told members that similar concerns had been raised about the planning and property departments at another committee, adding there is a “reoccurring theme that we pay less than neighbouring authorities and grade staff lower, we need to get on top of that.”
Cllr Vic Dennis proposed that the committee request that cabinet examine the pay and grade levels of staff compared to other authorities.
Data on the costs involved would be provided to a budget seminar, Cllr Kilmister said, as previously agreed, adding the council has had “historically the lowest council tax in Wales and that’s why our terms and conditions are lower than other authorities.”
Cllr Reg Owens added that the council appeared to compete on senior salaries and “what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.”