Another Consultant Hired Over Market Forces Bonus

It’s over two years since the Council introduced their controversial Market Forces Supplements, a pay boost for selected staff.

And Councillors have committed another £4,000 to bring in a consultant to report on whether the authority can actually remove the payments.

The bonuses were meant to top up pay when certain job roles were hard to recruit into, such as the Air Traffic Controller post.

A consultant first highlighted 35 posts for the salary hikes and cropped the list to 9 positions that could attract the bonus. Then a second expert put forward a different list of 9 roles and those staff got the extra payments.

But Councillors were recently warned of potential legal action if they tried to remove the Chief Officers’ discretionary £4,500 salary boosts, so it was rolled into their salary package.

That’s because a framework agreed by the unions wasn’t adopted by the Council.

Richard McCarthy told Thursday’s Policy and Resources meeting that they need a formal policy specifying that these bonuses can be removed or all staff who receive the supplement could be entitled to keep it.