UNISON: pressing for further NJC pay talks

The NJC trade unions (UNISON, Unite and GMB) have completed membership consultations on the LGA (Local Government Association) pay offer. Unite and UNISON – whose members voted by 64% to reject the offer – now have mandates for an industrial action ballot.

UNISON West Sussex members rejected the offer by 82% to 18% in our branch consultation.

UNISON is pressing the LGA to put a revised, one-year offer on the table. In particular, it is calling for:

  1. more certainty and firmer timetables for the proposed joint reviews of term time working; and
  2. restructuring of the Green Book NJC pay spines.

We want these reviews completed within a year.

Employers meet on 1 April to consider our call for a revised offer. National UNISON will meet to consider any revised offer from the LGA on 5 April.

UNISON wants a clear NJC agreement on term-time working to deliver fair, consistent and transparent pay and conditions such as bank holidays, annual leave, maternity pay and sick pay.

There is pressure on employers to reach agreement. Over a third of the pay points on the current pay spine will fall below the Chancellor’s ‘National Living Wage’ by 2020 and so will have to be deleted. A majority of councils are now paying the ‘real’ Living Wage (though West Sussex County Council is not one of them).

Employers are looking to the LGA to start joint work with the unions to revise the NJC and GLPC pay spines. We want clear commitments and timetables for this work.

The LGA has advised councils to increase the pay of employees currently paid on spinal column points (SCPs) 6, 7 and 8 in accordance with the National Living Wage starting from 1 April. This new single pay point for those three scale points equates to £13,891 per year.

We will report back as soon as possible after 5 April once we receive notification from our national office following the discussion on any revised offer.