Social workers in Fife Council to receive 21 per cent pay increases

Social workers in Fife will become the best paid in Scotland
after receiving a 21 per cent rise as part of an overhaul of pay
scales, writes Derren Hayes.

The new scales, introduced this month, will mean social workers
with at least three years’ experience and client-specific post
qualifying training will have their annual salary increased from
around £25,000 to £31,860.

Funding for improved pay will be met through an eight per cent
budget increase.

The move could prompt fears within the council’s neighbouring
authorities that their social workers will be lured to Fife by the
prospect of better pay.

Stephen Moore, head of social work at Fife, said the decision
was made to reward and retain existing staff, but that it would be
used to try and attract other professionals to the council. He
expected other councils to follow its lead.

“There are 600 social work vacancies at any one time in Scotland
and my main obligation is to my staff and then to those that want
to come and join us. In a year or two everyone will be doing this,”
he added.

A spokesperson for nearby Perth & Kinross Council said:
“While Perth & Kinross does not feel that the situation in Fife
is particularly threatening, it will continue to monitor the wider
employment market in order to appeal to as wide a range of
prospective candidates as possible.”

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