The cost-of-living crisis is hitting UNISON members at West Sussex County Council hard so we all must focus on achieving a successful NJC pay claim for 2022-23.
However, due to an increasing number of UNISON members contacting the branch office concerned with their ability to continue to use their private car for council business due to the cost of petrol, the UNISON West Sussex branch entered negotiations with the Council for a temporary uplift to NJC mileage rates.
The branch is pleased to report the Council has agreed to a temporary increase to the NJC mileage rate it uses from 46.9 pence to 58.7 pence per mile in response to exceptional cost of living pressures.
This will be payable to staff for whom NJC mileage rates apply from 1 July to 30 September 2022 and will be kept under review for affordability in discussion with UNISON.
Unleaded petrol cost £167.7 pence per litre on average in the Southeast in May 2022, up from £129.6 pence per litre in May 2021 (AA figures).
The council intends to revert to the previous mileage rate at the point petrol prices drop back to 2021 rates, but also wishes to keep the increase under review to check affordability and impact.
UNISON West Sussex recognises there are few, if any, equivalent examples of such action in neighbouring authorities and welcomes the council’s commitment to staff to help meet some of the impact of the cost-of-living crisis in this way.
The West Sussex branch remains committed to successful national NJC bargaining to resolve cost-of-living issues for members, because ultimately, we all need and deserve a pay rise which matches inflation. Look out for communications from the branch on the 2022-23 NJC pay claim.
Meanwhile, the branch welcomes this move by WSCC and trusts members will welcome the measure also.