HUNDREDS of council staff facing uncertainty about their wages could be left in limbo until next year.

Flintshire’s Council’s controversial single status pay plan, which could see a sizeable proportion of its workforce hit with pay cuts, is being reviewed after coming under fire from staff and councillors.

The scheme will see staff undergoing job evaluations to decide their level of pay – but many will not know the outcome of these until at least the end of the year, human resources chiefs say.

Connah’s Quay councillor Bernie Attridge, deputy leader of the opposition, said: “A memo was sent out to staff telling them they would not be getting an answer until the latter part of this year at the earliest.

“They were told there would definitely be no answer before then but were not given a timescale regarding when it will be.

“It is a long time for people to wait when so many are unsure about their wages.

“There are some people who thought they would be getting more, because that’s what they were told and now they don’t know what is happening and have just been left in limbo.”

The Single Status Project Board, which is responsible for carrying out the review, held its first meeting last November.

The board is made up of council leaders, chief executive Colin Everett, the heads of human resources, finance and legal and democratic services and representatives from the trade unions.

A board manager was appointed in January.

A spokesman for trade union Unison, which has representatives on the project board, said: “The council agreed on nine specific areas that it wanted to be revisited by the project board.

“Realistically what we are saying is that given the amount of detailed work which needs to be done, we are unable to give a definite timescale as to when staff will find out about their job evaluations. We don’t want to give a deadline if we think we will be unable to meet it.

“I would urge staff not to worry – everything is in hand and the reason it is taking a long time is because we want to make sure we have covered everything and got it right.”

Helen Stappleton, Flintshire Council's head of Human Resources, said: “Our Single Status Project Plan has been redrawn to support the delivery of the commitments made at County Council last November and the project is progressing to plan and on time.

“Senior management and Trade Union colleagues are undertaking vital work together in preparation for delivering a legal, acceptable and affordable Single Status Agreement, with direction and support from elected members.

“We are ensuring that employees are briefed on developments and progress on a regular basis as part of the communication strategy for the project.

“Employees are aware that they will not receive notification of their new grade and terms and conditions of employment under Single Status until early 2011 because of the thorough approach that the council is taking towards a more acceptable agreement.”