Three unions (Unison, Unite and GMB) representing over 1.6 million local government employees in schools and councils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland submitted a pay claim for 2018/19 to the Local Government Employers on 14 June. Following the meeting, the Trade Union Side agreed to write to Prime Minister Theresa May, DCLG Minister Sajid Javid, and Chancellor Phillip Hammond.
Pay claim for 2018/19
This claim is for one year only (2018/19) and involves a 5% increase on all NJC pay points. It also includes the deletion of NJC pay points: 6, 7, 8 and 9 (the deletion of these pay points to occur after the 5% increase has been applied to ensure that no NJC pay points fall below the Foundation Living Wage rate of £8.45 per hour).
Unison, Unite and the GMB say that school and council employees’ living standards have plummeted as their wages have fallen way behind inflation.
Unite national officer for local authorities, Fiona Farmer, said: “Local government workers in ….. schools have suffered from years of austerity with significant cuts to services, jobs and pay.”
Unison head of local government, Heather Wakefield, said: “Local government has the lowest paid workers in the public sector, and many council employees and their families are struggling to keep afloat. With every price increase, their standard of living gets worse.”
Rehana Azam, GMB national secretary for public services, said: “Local government workers are suffering the worst squeeze on their pay in living memory, contributing to a public sector recruitment and retention crisis that is undermining the quality of services for everyone.”
Planning is now underway to step up the political campaign by all three unions.
Initial Response to Pay Claim
Chair of the National Employers, Cllr Sian Timoney, responded to the local government unions’ 2018 pay claim by stating, “We will be consulting with councils in the coming. Local government has lost more than half a million jobs in recent years and meeting this claim would result in many more such job losses.”