Latest Public Sector News

24.02.12

Pay freeze for local government employees

Council workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will have their pay frozen for the third year in a row, the Local Government Association (LGA) has confirmed.

1.6 million local government employees will have their pay frozen for 2012/13 due to rising costs and shrinking funding, the association said.

Spokeswoman Sarah Messenger said it had been “a very difficult decision to make but it is the right one for council taxpayers and the workforce as a whole”.

She said: “Increasing pay would mean more job losses and cuts to the services people need.

“While the financial outlook for councils is bleak, we are keen to begin discussions with the unions on a package of reform of pay and conditions that may enable us to avoid a fourth year of pay freeze in 2013.”

Public sector workers earning less than £21,000 were promised a £250 pay rise this year. But local government pay is negotiated separately between employers and unions, via the National Joint Council for local government services, and council staff did not get the rise.

The amount of money that local government gets from Whitehall is due to fall by 7.1% a year between 2011 and 2015 as part of the Coalition’s deficit reduction drive.

GMB national officer Brian Strutton said: “The politicians who lead local councils are a disgrace to the workforces they employ for offering no pay rise for the third consecutive year while feathering their own nests.

“Council leaders’ pay has shot up and councillors vote themselves higher allowances while the carers, dinner ladies, dustmen, social workers, school support staff and all the other council workers serving their communities will have seen their pay fall in real terms by over 15%.”

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