Latest Public Sector News

14.11.14

Council workers accept improved pay offer from LGA

Council workers have voted to accept a pay offer put forward by the Local Government Association, heading off the possibility of further strikes.

Members of Unison, Unite and the GMB agreed to a two-year deal worth an average of 2.35%, having rejected an earlier 1% offer.

Local authority workers walked out in July and threatened further action last month prompting the LGA to improve their offer.

The dispute involved 1.5 million council workers and school support staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

GMB national secretary Brian Strutton said: "1.5 million council workers and school staff have taken a pragmatic decision to accept a two-year deal which is worth around 2.35% on average and up to 9.6% for the lowest paid. That puts the 2014 pay dispute to bed but there are still serious financial challenges ahead for local government services and our members who provide them."

Unison head of local government, Heather Wakefield added: "Members covered by the National Joint Council for Local Government have the lowest pay in the public sector and have suffered significant attacks on their conditions of work in recent years. We will continue to campaign for the Living Wage to become the minimum rate of pay in local government and for a commensurate increase for all other NJC employees, to reflect the invaluable work that our members do to keep vital local services running." 

An LGA spokesman said: "After a protracted dispute, we are pleased that an agreement with the unions has now been reached.

"Our hardworking employees, who have worked wonders while councils have been tackling the biggest cuts in living memory, have been waiting since April for an agreement. Today’s breakthrough is good news for them."

Pay agreement

The pay offer agreed between the employers and trade unions, covering more than one million local government jobs, but not council chief executives, senior officers, teachers or firefighters, who are covered by separate national pay arrangements, is below. 

  •  £1,065 (8.56%) on Spinal Column Point (SCP) 5 with effect from 1 January 2015
  •  £1,000 (7.93%) on SCP6 with effect from 1 January 2015
  •  £800 (6.19%) on SCP7 with effect from 1 January 2015
  •  £550 (4.13%) on SCP8 with effect from 1 January 2015
  •  £350 (2.55%) on SCP9 with effect from 1 January 2015
  •  £325 (2.32%) on SCP10 with effect from 1 January 2015
  •  2.2% on SCPs 11 and above with effect from 1 January 2015
  •  Removal of SCP5 with effect from 1 October 2015
  •  £325 non-consolidated payment on SCPs 5, 6 & 7 to be paid in December 2014 (pro-rated for part-time employees)
  •  £150 non-consolidated payment on SCPs 8, 9 & 10 to be paid in December 2014 (pro-rated for part-time employees)
  •  £100 non-consolidated payment on SCPs 11-25 inclusive to be paid in December 2014 (pro-rated for part-time employees)
  •  0.45 per cent of proposed new salaries on SCPs 26-49 inclusive, of which £100 to be paid in December 2014 and the remaining balance to be paid in April 2015 (pro-rated for part-time employees).

Explaining the negotiations, the LGA said: "The National Joint Council negotiates the pay, terms and conditions of staff in local authorities. It agrees an annual uplift to the national pay spine, on which each individual council decides where to place its employees. Each council takes into account a number of factors such as job size and local labour market conditions when deciding an employee's salary. There are no nationally determined jobs or pay grades in local government, unlike in other parts of the public sector."

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opininon@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

Harry Spikes   17/11/2014 at 12:52

2.35% from Jan 2015 to March 2016 so the avarage increase is approx 1% per year so deal is no better than the one previously rejected by union members. Union officials selling out their members due to the upcoming general election!! Couldn't have a public sector strike, could we? It may reflect badly on Labour!

Graham Weston   17/11/2014 at 13:36

Yet again, we have been 'mugged off' We would have been better off accepting 1% last April & 1% this April. The people who lost pay through strike action are even worse off. What is the point?

J Brown   17/11/2014 at 14:38

It really is about time lower paid staff are regonised especially those in services and working with members of the public.

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