NJC Pay Offer – branch consultation

We have reported previously on the NJC pay offer, and we include full details of the offer again below.

On 23rd January, UNISON’s elected lay member NJC Committee met in London to consider the pay offer made by the Local Government Employers. Our local South East reps on the NJC Committee are Jon Woods and Lorna Mooney from Portsmouth Council branch, and Diana Leach from Brighton & Hove Council branch – all 3 of whom happen to be social workers.

The NJC Committee voted to recommend to members that they REJECT the offer, on the basis that it falls far short of our claim.

Retail Price Inflation (RPI) is currently at 4.1%. The employers’ offer effectively locks members into a 2-year deal of sub-inflation awards. This means further pay cuts, extending the period of members enduring real terms pay cuts to 10 years. Brexit also looms, with no-one yet knowing how this could impact on inflation of key items, like food and clothing,

The NJC Committee believe that the offer is the best achievable by negotiation, and that to secure a better offer members need to be prepared to see through substantial strike action.

The branch is now organising a consultation with members which will include a consultative ballot.

This is to find out what YOU think about the offer. We will use the next 5 weeks to disseminate information about the offer and what it means, to spark a conversation with members. We will hold a series of meetings, and then launch a consultative online pay ballot. You will receive your own personal online ballot by email, with which you can determine the unions’ next steps.

To receive an online ballot, the branch must hold your up-to-date email address. If you want to check we still have that email on record for you, or provide us with a new email, please phone 01243 777636 or email office.unison@westsussex.gov.uk

Pay meetings

These are set for the following dates:

    • Tuesday 20th February, 12:30-1:30pm: Committee Room 1, County Hall, Chichester
    • Thursday 22nd February, 12:00-1:00pm: Conference Room 1, Durban House, Bognor
    • Friday 23rd February, 12:30-1:30pm: Conference Room 4, Centenary House, Worthing
    • Monday 26th February: 12:30-1:30pm: Goodwood Room, County Hall North, Horsham

Please come along to hear more about the pay offer and how it affects you. If your workplace is not shown above and you would like a pay briefing in your office, please contact us.

We will launch the online ballot on Tuesday 27th February and voting will be possible until 12pm on Friday 9th March. If members vote to REJECT the offer, the NJC Committee will again consider the position and whether to move to a formal, postal ballot for industrial action.

Please look out for your email ballot and take part! It’s your pay rise!

Chief Executive email in ‘One Voice’

We wish to correct the following from the Chief Executive’s email to all staff on 31st January and make some additional observations:

  • It is regrettable that the Chief Executive felt the need to write to all staff about the pay offer and comment on an internal UNISON process before the branch even had a chance to write to members. We only received a briefing from the national UNISON office on 30th January.
  • It is not correct to say “unions have recently rejected the offer”. UNISON is making a recommendation to members only, for a consultative ballot. UNISON and Unite have recommended rejection; GMB has made no recommendation. Union members democratically decide our collective position on pay offers, not “unions”, nor Chief Executives.
  • It is not correct that the ballot closes on 8th March. It is 9th March, as we set out above.
  • It is not correct to say that “initial communications from UNISON have focused on the headline element of the pay offer”. All the communications this branch has seen, including our own, have made it very clear that there are higher increases at the lower end of the scale.
  • “SCPs” is not defined. This stands for Spinal Column Point, which may be confusing if staff are used to thinking more in terms of WSCC Grades. The information provided does not reveal that very few staff are employed on SCPs 6-10.
  • The message does not mention that the pay offer is entirely unfunded by central government. This is very relevant information and something we will return to in the coming weeks during the consultation.

The offer

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