Unite is to hold a consultative ballot of its members in local government covered by the “green book” with a recommendation that they reject the current pay offer.
Members of Unite’s National Industrial Sector Committee for local authorities yesterday (January 11) voted unanimously to reject the pay offer and to hold a consultative ballot of all affected members covered by the National Joint Committee (green book) agreement, with a recommendation that the offer is rejected.
Local government employers had made an offer of a two per cent increase from April 1, 2018 for the majority of local government and school support staff and a further two per cent in April 2019.
The offer covers staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Since successive Conservative government’s introduced a series of pay freezes and pay restraint policies in 2010 the pay of local government workers has fallen by 21 per cent in real terms.
The current CPI inflation rate is 3.1 per cent while the RPI rate which includes housing costs is 3.9 per cent. The current pay offer will result in a further real terms pay cut for most of Unite’s local government members.
Unite national officer for local authorities Jim Kennedy said, “Our members simply do not believe that the offer will result in enough members receiving a pay increase which is at least in line with inflation.
“Unite will now hold a consultative ballot of our members and once that process is complete we will consider our next steps.
“The majority of Unite’s local government members are not well paid but provide essential services to communities up and down the UK,” he added. “The government’s programme of austerity means that they are simply no longer financially able to keep their heads above water.
“Unite believes that if local government employers are prepared to enter into meaningful negotiations we can reach agreement to resolve our concerns as swiftly and amicably as possible.
“Local government has been decimated by the Conservative’s cuts and any pay settlement should be fully funded by central government.”
The trade unions UNISON and GMB are the other signatories to the NJC agreement.