Unions to consider 2% pay offer for local government workers

Local government workers are to be asked whether they want to accept a 2% pay rise in April.

GMB, UNISON and Unite have 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.”

GMB National Secretary Rehana Azam said: “Local government workers are suffering the worst squeeze on their pay in living memory. We have been clear throughout that the years of pay pinching must be brought to an end with decent pay rises.

“We’ll now be giving the employers’ formal offer the careful scrutiny and consideration it requires.”

Unite national officer Jim Kennedy said: “Continuing government cuts to local government have seen real term pay cuts of up to 21% for some of the lowest paid public servants in the country.

“This self-defeating austerity, which is denying communities vital services and sucking money out of local economies, is unsustainable and has to end. Unite will be considering the detail of the pay offer and consulting with its members.”

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