UNISON’s NJC Committee, the union’s national committee for local government pay across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, met this morning to consider the Employers’ 1.5% pay offer. The Committee strongly agreed to reject the offer. In the context of our claim for a 10% pay increase, the offer of 1.5% is insulting, and shows blatant disregard for the hard work and sacrifices made by local government workers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, providing essential services and keeping our communities safe and well.
UNISON is calling on the local government employers to enter urgent negotiations so that this offer can be improved. UNISON members are also deeply frustrated at the long delay in resolving term time working issues for school support staff and others, and we are seeking reassurances that this work will be prioritised.
At the same time, UNISON is clear that more funding is needed from central government to ensure that local authorities and schools can continue to provide the full range of services and pay staff properly. UNISON is calling on the National Employers and local authorities to work with us to lobby for more resources for local government.
UNISON head of local government Jon Richards said: “This offer simply isn’t good enough. Council and school staff have done so much this past year. They’re understandably feeling more than taken for granted. It’s insulting.
“Negotiations with the employers are now essential if council and school staff are to get a better deal. More resources from Westminster would help relieve the financial pressure on councils and schools and fund a more substantial increase for staff.
“Extra cash in people’s pockets would fit well with the government’s levelling up agenda. It would also help the workforce feel much more valued than it currently does.”