Big hike for social workers’ pay at Fife

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

The scales, which were introduced this month, will see social
workers who have at least three years’ experience and have
undertaken post-qualifying training increase their annual salary
from about £25,000 to £31,860.

The local authority will fund the move through an 8 per cent budget

The move is the first step in a review of staff grades, pay and
roles of all 5,000 of the council’s staff. Occupational therapists
have also been put onto the same scale as social workers.

Stephen Moore, head of social work at Fife, said the move will
enable any of its 400 social workers to be upgraded to the new pay
scale if they have the right training and qualifications.

“Social workers want respect and a salary that reflects their
competences and skills,” he said. “You then end up with a more
motivated and skilled workforce.”

Moore said the main reason for the move was to reward and retain
existing staff, but that it would be used to try and attract other
professionals to the council.

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

Alan McKeown, health and social care policy manager at the
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, said it was up to each
council to decide how to best manage its services.

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