UNISON members have voted overwhelmingly to reject the Local Government Employers’ offer of a 1.75% pay increase (2.75% for those on pay point 1). 79% of members voted to reject the offer, and we now know that members of GMB and Unite have voted to reject, with similar percentages.
This overwhelming majority of UNISON members makes clear the strength of feeling among local government workers about their pay. Council and school workers have been the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, working tirelessly and often at risk to their own safety to serve their communities. Meanwhile, since 2010 the value of their pay has fallen by 25%. The 1.75% pay offer is completely inadequate and UNISON members have made their feelings about it clear.
UNISON’s NJC Committee therefore decided to move to ballot members on industrial action. Ballot papers are scheduled to go out in early December, and members will be asked whether they want to take strike action to secure an improved pay offer. UNISON will be asking members to vote ‘yes’ to strike action.
Meanwhile, the Joint Trade Union Side have written to the Employers’ Side, asking them to return to the negotiations and making clear that they need to make an improved pay offer. We have also asked them to re-consider their refusal to engage in lobbying of the Westminster Government, alongside the unions, to try to secure more funding for local government pay. We know that local government finances are difficult, but if the employers are serious about valuing the work our members do, they will work with us to get a fairer deal for their staff.
For more details including the joint trade union letter sent to the employers, as well as a number of campaign resources which you can share via social media, please read the latest NJC pay bulletin below.Fair_Pay_for_council_and_school_workers_2021_Bulletin_12