On 27 July the Employers’ Side of the National Joint Council (NJC) wrote to UNISON with what they termed as a ‘final pay offer’ for 2021. From 1 April 2021, they are offering:
- An increase of 1.75% for everyone;
- This applies to all, except anyone on the lowest spinal column point 1, who are offered 2.75% in order to keep distance from the National Minimum Wage;
- Completion of the outstanding work of the joint Term-Time Only review group (a previous commitment);
- Discussions on joint framework guidance on homeworking (but no offer of a homeworking allowance);
- Discussions on joint guidance on mental health;
- Incorporation of new statutory provisions for neo-natal leave and pay into the Green Book.
UNISON’s NJC Committee met on 28 July and agreed to launch a consultation of members on this final pay offer. The Committee strongly agreed to recommend that members vote to reject the offer.
The Committee agreed that the 0.25% improvement in the offer is insignificant (following the earlier offer of 1.5%), and the offer is nowhere near what members need or deserve, following years of real terms pay cuts and the outstanding work members in councils and schools have done throughout the pandemic.
We know that many local authorities are struggling financially. However, UNISON had requested that the Local Government Association (LGA) join us in campaigning for more funds from the Westminster Government for local government pay. The LGA has refused, saying that they will only be calling for more funds for services.
The consultation of members will launch in late August and will run through most of September. The exact dates will be confirmed as soon as possible.
Update your details
The primary way most members will vote is likely to be digitally, so we need to ensure we have as many members’ email addresses as possible. Please check your details are up to date by following this link: https://www.unison.org.uk/update-your-details/
Keep up the pressure on the Government
On 26 July, UNISON General Secretary Christina McAnea wrote to Boris Johnson, calling on him to make funds available for a decent pay increase for local government workers. As Christina says in her letter,
“Our local government workers keep communities safe, children educated and our most vulnerable cared for. Just like our NHS workers, people working in councils, schools and in the community, have put themselves in harm’s way to fight COVID-19 and to keep essential services going. They went to work, so that others could stay home. So it is indefensible that they should now be offered a real terms pay cut.”
You can read the letter here: https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2021/07/Letter-to-the-Prime-Minister-NJC-Pay-1.pdf
In addition, we need every member to write to their Member of Parliament (MP), making clear how urgent the situation is and asking them to press the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government for more funding for local government pay.
Our ‘Email your MP’ tool makes this easy. All you need to do is follow the link, enter your details, and an email to your MP will be generated. You can make any changes you want, and then send it.
Click here to email your MP: https://action.unison.org.uk/page/83037/action/1