More than 100,000 council employees in the West Midlands will have their pay frozen this year in order to minimise job losses, it emerged today.
Some councils in the region set aside enough to offer a one per cent rise from April but the Local Government Association (LGA) said there should not be any pay increases.
This angered trade unions GMB, Unison and Unite.
Birmingham, Dudley, South Staffordshire, Cannock Chase, and Staffordshire County Council confirmed their staff will get no increases.
Sandwell Council workers will also get no increases despite finance chief Councillor Steve Eling confirming the council budgeted for a one per cent pay rise in line with last year’s increases.
Wolverhampton and Wyre Forest councils are LGA members and are not expected to give pay rises.
Staffordshire County Council leader Phil Atkins said a major council tax rise would be needed to fund even a small pay rise for 32,500 staff.
A decision on pay was taken after consultation with councils facing falling revenues as they want to keep council tax low because residents have been hit by the recession.Jan Parkinson, managing director of the LGA’s staffing body Local Government Employers, said: “The decision not to offer employees an increase in basic pay this year has not been taken lightly.
“Councils are facing a perfect storm of falling revenues and increasing demand for services.
“Up and down the country councils have already been forced to cut thousands of jobs to balance the books.”
Trade unions Unison, GMB and Unite asked for a rise of 2.5 per cent or £500 a year from April 1, which would add 2.8 per cent to the local government pay bill.
Last year most council staff got one per cent.
Lowest paid staff, earning up to £13,703 a year were awarded a 1.25 per cent increase. Council chief executives and chief officers were not given an annual pay award.
Meanwhile, across the country it is estimated the one in three public sector employers plan to slash jobs.