Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed in local government, have rejected a 1.5 per cent pay offer made by employers, which they have described as ‘insulting, derisory and shameful’.
The members of Unite’s national committee for local authority workers rejected the pay offer, as it equates to yet another pay cut, following 11 years of pay freezes and below inflation pay increases.
The 1.5 per cent offer is only just over half of the current Retail Price Index (RPI) rate of 2.9 per cent for April. The proposed increase is worth just £1.03 a day for the lowest paid workers in local government.
Unite’s members were particularly incensed and insulted that the employers described their pay offer as a “well deserved pay rise” when in reality it is a real terms pay cut.
There is a growing belief that the real terms pay cut will cause serious retention and recruitment problems, especially following the Covid-19 pandemic, where local government workers have remained in the frontline to provide key services.
Unite national officer for local government Jim Kennedy said, “Unite members have rejected the insulting pay offer made by local government employers. In what world do the local government employers live where they can call a pay cut a ‘well deserved pay rise’. They should hang their heads in shame.
“Local government workers are sick and tired of the employers’ failure to properly value them,” he added. “We mistakenly believed that after the last year, where local government workers have supported, protected and sustained our communities, that the employers would finally offer a fair pay increase.
“Local government workers are increasingly voting with their feet and leaving the sector, this trickle of resignations will turn into a torrent unless low pay is addressed,” Kennedy continued.
“Unite will now work with the other local government unions and their members to ensure that a pay award which meets workers’ true worth is made.”
By Barckley Sumner