Following a meeting of local government representatives from across UNISON at its NJC Committee, the union has decided to accept the pay offer from the employers.
For most employees (spinal column points 18 to 49), this means a 1% pay rise this year and the same next year (16/17 and 17/18). This will be backdated to April 2016 and should appear in your pay soon.
There will also be a joint review of the NJC pay spine and term-time working for school support staff.
Pay increases are higher than 1% up to Grade 5 spinal point 17, mainly to keep pace with the Government’s introduction of what it calls a National Living Wage.
Though the union’s NJC Committee voted to hold an industrial action ballot of members, the Industrial Action Committee asked the NJC Committee to re-consult with members first. This was because of a poor national turnout of members in the consultative ballot, even though two-thirds of members responded positively to the proposal to take industrial action. The NJC Committee at its latest meeting noted that several regions had now reported that they did not feel they could mobilise sufficient sustained industrial action, proposed for September.
Compare this to the local response in West Sussex, where there was a much higher turnout with 82.2% responding favourably to the notion of taking industrial action. Had our figures been reflected nationally, there would have been a very different outcome to negotiations. However, we are bound by national pay bargaining and must accept this outcome.
This pay campaign shows the value of taking part in union consultations and ballots. It’s vitally important that as many members as possible respond when consulted. The higher the response, the greater the confidence it gives the union nationally to take a stand on important issues. If members do not respond in sufficient numbers, it is not a given that an industrial action ballot will be green-lighted.