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Largest council union set to reject 2% council pay offer

UNISON has followed Unite in moving to reject the 2% pay increase offered to public sector workers.

The union’s pay committee voted to turn down the proposals and, although they will now be put to a members’ consultation, it is likely other members will follow suit.

UNISON boasts the largest council staff membership of any major UK union, meaning any rejection of the deal would be a huge blow.

Unite announced a very similar situation last week, in which it recommended that its members not vote to accept the proposed offer.

The union argued that inflation, based on the CPI index, coupled with a 3.9% rise in housing costs, means that the current offer would see staff hit by a real-terms pay cut.

Following the vote, UNISON’s head of local government Heather Wakefield said: “Unison's national joint council committee has today voted narrowly to reject the local government employers’ two-year pay offer for council and school support staff.

“The union will now begin to consult with its members across local government in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to seek their views.”

This will be the first time in eight years that a public sector pay offer has been made which is above 1%.

Pay was frozen for two years in 2010, except for those earning less than £21,000 a year, and since 2013, rises have been capped at 1% - below the rate of inflation.

The current pay offer does not apply to council chief executives, senior officers, teachers or firefighters, who are covered by separate national pay arrangements.

The UNISON consultation is expected to begin on Monday and end on 8 March.

Top image: Nick Ansell PA Wire

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