The full pay claim was submitted to employers at a formal meeting of the NJC in July 2019. The employers-side finished consulting local authorities in October 2019. We were initially advised to expect a pay offer towards the end of the year, and the NJC’s deep frustration at the employers’ likely timetable was made clear. However, we were then told the offer would not be made until at least after the general election: practically, this meant the new year given the election was so close to Christmas.
The NJC employers’ side was due to meet on 21 January to consider the NJC joint unions’ pay claim for 2020. We were expecting the employers to make us an offer.
However after the meeting we received the following message from the employers’ side secretariat:
“As you know the National Employers met today. It has been agreed that lead members will meet with national union representatives at a meeting of the NJC Executive on 5 February. A further update will follow that meeting.”
Following discussions with the other unions and liaising with UNISON’s NJC Chair we have agreed the following response:
The unions are astounded to hear that the local government employers – who met on 21 January – still have not made the local government workforce a pay offer. The unions were expecting that one would be made in response to the pay claim submitted back in July 2019.
The pay talks have already been delayed due to the general election. While we welcome the employers’ commitment to meet with us in early February, the extra delay of a couple of weeks is unnecessary and unhelpful.
The joint union message to the employers is simple. We submitted our joint union pay claim well in advance of the pay timeline and don’t understand why they can’t make an offer now instead of further delaying pay talks. We urge them to make an opening offer, get round the table and start pay negotiations immediately.
In the meantime the three unions representing local government workers have written to the Chancellor setting out why it’s essential that the Treasury fully funds a substantial pay rise for the more than one million local government workers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The UNISON NJC Committee of elected lay reps is meeting on 31 January and will consider next steps, and branches and members will be kept up to date with developments.