Over 400 staff are on local pay arrangements at WSCC. Although UNISON previously secured two consecutive pay awards of 2%, without performance strings, we are seeking to establish formal collective bargaining arrangements for local pay for these members on HAY and Public Health/Agenda for Change grades. 96% of members told us they want us to do this, when we surveyed them last summer.
We were on the cusp of resolving this with the previous chief exec Nathan Elvery when he pulled the agreed plans because we had stood up for members working in children’s services. But UNISON has sufficient membership in the local pay group to insist on full recognition rights (thank you to the new members who joined us and made this possible).
UNISON has now come to agreement with the county council’s officers on a new ‘recognition and facility time agreement’. This would sort out the local pay issue by ensuring the branch is recognised for full collective bargaining for local pay awards.
This is now awaiting final sign off and agreement by councillors and the HR Director is awaiting advice on the right governance for that. The current Covid-19 pandemic has upended democratic decision-making by councillors. If UNISON can secure this agreement it will resolve a long-standing issue for hundreds of staff on local pay, and it will mean that the 2020-21 pay award will be negotiated through UNISON.
The next local pay award is not due until July 1st 2020. So the new recognition agreement must be in place by then. We are also watching the development of NJC negotiations with keen interest. NJC members will no doubt be balloted for their views on their pay offer in due course.
We will keep members updated. The county council does intend to write to staff on these pay grades and UNISON will be in touch with its members then too.