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Debate and Pay Offer

Pay Update (12/12/17)

We have recieved further details of the offer. Under the offer:

  • Those currently on SCP 6 - the lowest paid - would receive a pay increase of 16% over two years.
  • Employees on scale points 7-19 will receive increases of between 9% and 3.7% in year 1.
  • Employees on scale point 20 and above would receive an increase of 2%.
  • Employees will be assimilated on to a new pay spine in year 2.
  • Those on the bottom pay point will receive £9 an hour. New scale points 2-22 from 1 April 2019 will have new, even 2% differentials.
  • Employees on new scale point 23 and above receive a further 2% increase on 2018 salaries.  

Please see more in the Fair Pay Bulletin 06 at the bottom of the page

We were expecting to receive the LGA’s offer at the NJC Executive on 13 December. This meeting is still going ahead to formally receive the offer. UNISON’s NJC Committee will then consider the offer at its meeting on 14 December.

Pay Update (05/12/17)

GMB, UNISON and Unite have today (05/12/17) received a letter from the local government employers outlining a proposed two-year pay deal for council and school support staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The three unions representing local government staff will now put the offer to their respective committees for consideration.

The offer covers the two years from 1 April 2018. It would mean a 2% wage rise next April for the majority of council and school support staff currently earning more than £19,430, and a further 2% in April 2019.

The local government employers are also proposing to give lower paid staff a higher wage rise – of up to 16% over the two years.

The proposals also include a revamp of National Joint Council pay scales.

UNISON head of local government Heather Wakefield said: “Council and school support staff are the lowest paid workers across our public services and are long overdue a wage rise above the 1% cap.

“The government must now come up with the cash to fund local government properly so councils have the money to give their staff a wage increase that doesn’t put more services or jobs at risk.”


A whole raft of Labour MPs queued up to speak out against the Public Sector pay cap in the Commons debate, fuelled by Unison's petition on 4th December. Amongst them was Birmingham's Jack Dromey.

The Tories speaking in the debate were very few.  The Government 's Andrew Jones (Harrogate  & Knaresborough)  concluded the debate with a non commital we're dealing with the issue, wiothout making any commitments. He said of the forthcoming pay awards

 "We now face the established processes for determining those pay awards, and we cannot prejudge them. I cannot comment on a report that has not yet been written.

For that reason, the Government have not set out an explicit target for public sector pay, but I can provide an assurance that this Government will take the recommendations into account. We will continue to invest in our public services and ensure that our public sector workers continue to be fairly remunerated. They deliver a fantastic level of public service on which we all rely, and that will continue to be the case under this Government."

Meanwhile Labour's Warrington North MP, Helen Jones responded with a warning of warm words but no action:

"It is significant that no Conservative Members made a speech during this debate. They too must know that the policy is indefensible. They have public sector workers in their constituencies; they must have seen what is happening to them. They should not be complicit in this policy. They need to tell their Government... that this situation cannot continue. We on this side are clear that public sector workers ought to be able to negotiate a decent pay rise and have it funded; it is time for those on the Government side to ?realise that as well. Otherwise, their warm words about people in the public sector will be seen as so much hot air"

The full debate can be read online at The Parliamentary Hansard website

Unison continues to ramp up the pressure for a decent pay rise with protests planned for December 8th.


Pay Update (28/11/17)

Unison boss Dave Prentis has sent a message to Unison members saying the recent budget was a missed opportunity to put pay right for public sector workers. He wants members to write to their MP and get them to attend the debate on pay.

His message reads ,"(The Chancellor)  failed to make new money available immediately for pay rises for all public sector workers.

The government are dragging their feet and ignoring so many of you. It is a real blow for you and millions of hard working people who deliver our vital public services that people depend on.

But this isn’t over.

UNISON will continue to fight for a decent pay rise for all of you. And the public are on our side.
Now we will take our campaign to Westminster, with the debate you helped us achieve by signing our parliamentary petition.
The debate takes places on 4 December and it is important that as many MPs as possible go along to speak up for public sector pay rises.

That is why I am asking you to write to your MP to express your disappointment and anger about the decision the Chancellor has taken today, and ask them to be at the debate to speak up for you and your pay.

 E-Mail your MP by clicking on the link.

It is important that we keep up the pressure. As we've said before, a pat on the back isn't enough - you all deserve a pay rise. We have the support of the public and of a great many MPs. Let’s build on that support by working together and fighting for the pay rise you deserve. Please write to your MP today and encourage other UNISON members to do the same.
Best wishes, and thank you for being a part of our union ".

In the Budget the Chancellor only announced a pay rise for NHS workers and didn't mention any other public sector workers. The TUC recently said that the Public sector pay cap had reduced spending power by £8.5bn in England this year. See the article in The Independent

The Treasury recently said in a statement  "For 2018-19, Secretaries of State will be able to consider appropriate pay awards depending on workforce needs and resources".


PAY UPDATE (21/11/17). 

The Local Government employers are meeting on 13 December to decide how much they
will offer you in response to our pay claim. 
Meanwhile on  Friday 8 December protests are being organised for Fair Pay Now in local government and schools.


PAY UPDATE (17/10/17). 130,000 people have signed Unison's Parliamentary petition and MPs will now debate public sector pay in Westminster on 4 December. 

The NJC Employers Side is meeting on 18 October to take stock of their regional consultation.
They have informed us that they want to wait for the Autumn Statement, due on 22 November before they respond to our claim and the pay spine review. We are not likely to get a formal pay offer from them until early December.
We had hoped that we would get the final pay offer earlier this year, which was why we lodged our claim in May. However, while the Local Government Association has done a lot of work to make finance officers and others aware that councils will need to budget for more than 1% this year, they want to see what the Autumn Statement says before an offer is made.



UPDATE:(19/09/17) UNISON took a special Pay Up Now! fruit machine to Brighton this week to highlight the injustice of the 1% pay cap – and to step up it's pressure on the government to lift it.

Opening the public sector pay debate at the 149th Trades Union Congress,in Brighton on 10-13th September. Unison General Secretary, Dave Prentis,went on to say: "For millions of public service workers struggling to survive, there is no more pressing issue than lifting the pay cap."

Following the Conference, there were reports in the media of a review of Police and Prison Officers pay above 1%,  but not a mention of other workers. Critics said that the Government was playing a "divide and rule" game and that the pay rises should be for all Public Sector workers across the board.

Some Unions have said they are prepared to ballot members for strike action over the pay cap .At the Trades Union Congress (TUC) annual conference, around 50 unions backed a motion calling for a campaign of co-ordinated industrial action unless the cap is fully lifted.

 Meanwhile a poll for The Independent (16/09/17) suggets that a majority of the public "believe the public sector pay cap has been unjustified and agree now is the time to remove restraints on workers’ wages". The Labour Party and Tory allies the DUP voted against the Government and for a removal of the pay cap on NHS workers. So the pressure to act continues.

Meanwhile Unison continues to press for an end to the cap. A petition has been launched to get the govenment to debate it in  Parliament. Unison members are urged to sign it. Please folow the link.




Update : (05/09/17) It's been reported in the Independent that the Government is set to end the 7 year cap on public sector pay rises. Lifting the 1% limit is set to be part of the Autumn Statement. Some pay review bodies have already warned the Government that pay must improve in order to recruit and retain staff.

One plan under consideration is the lowest paid public sector workers and those groups witht the biggest retention problems will be granted a pay rise at least in line with inflation in April 2018.

There was no specific mention of Council workers, but more may become known when the Budget is announced.

Meanwhile Unison will continue with its 5% Pay campaign.

See this article



With inflation running at nearly 3% and a series of only 1% pay rises for years, Unison and other unions are  calling for a 5% pay rise across the board from the Local Government Association.

This comes with the Tory government beginning to finally get the message that their austerity programme isn't working. Since their disasterous election result, which saw the majority wiped out, Tory backbencers and even some senior figures in the party have said it may be time to look at public sector pay.  It's also become evident that people are not spending as much as they use to, as belt tightening continues. The demand for service sector goods, which is the UK's biggest employer, has gone down. Perhaps the time's come for a timely reminder that if you don't give people a decent wage they can't afford anything but basic nesessities.

The latest Pay and Justice Bulletin states:

UNISON, GMB and Unite today lodged the following pay claim for all council and school workers employed on NJC pay in England, Wales and Northern Ireland:
The deletion of NJC pay points SCP 6-9 to reach the Foundation Living Wage
of £8.45 (UK) and £9.75 (London) and a 5% increase on all NJC pay points.
The claim is attached and has been submitted to the Local Government Association.
Below are the key arguments made in the claim:
1.Declining value of NJC pay:For the vast majority of NJC workers in local government and schools-
last year’s pay ‘rise’ actually represented the EIGHTH consecutive annual pay cut since 2009.
Pay in local government and schools is one of the lowest in the public sector. No one is paid a fair rate for the job they do.
A continuation of the 1 per cent pay cap would represent a further squeeze on our members’ quality of life that is even worse than during the 1980s and 1990s, exacerbating an already desperate situation for many. 
The bottom rate of pay in local government-£7.78-is only 28p above the National Living Wage (NLW) and well below the UK Foundation Living Wage rate of £8.45 and £9.75 in London.
Inflation is predicted to remain in excess of 3% for the next five years.
This means that the cost of living for our members will rise by nearly 18% by 2021. In that context, a 1% pay offer for the sector would be unacceptable."
The Bulletin ends with a call to prepare for the campaign.
"The Local Government Association have told us they will now start their consultation
exercise on the pay claim and respond to us in late September. It is crucial we maximize political pressure on council and school staff employers during this period.
We will also be seeking meetings with Government and Shadow Ministers to press the case for funding for the NJC claim and the pay spine review."
To read the full text of the statement download the Pay and Justice bulletin from the bottom of this page.
Download File
Download fair pay bulletin 06 File



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Budget Consultation 2018+ information
Opened 12 Dec 2017, closes 15 Jan 2018. The Budget consultation document and online survey is here:
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