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Here are the proposed options for the headline claims for the NJC pay claim for 2022.

The options were discussed and agreed by the UNISON NJC Committee on 8 March 2022.

The 2021 pay settlement
For NJC 2021, we submitted a pay claim of 10%. The Employers initially offered 1.5%,
and after negotiations they returned with a final offer of 1.75%, or 2.75% for the lowest pay point. This was ultimately accepted by the joint unions after a ballot.
Local government funding
There is a funding crisis in local government, with local authorities facing a combined funding gap of several billion pounds.
However, throughout the union we are campaigning hard for more funding from the Westminster Conservative Government for councils, and pay must be considered in this
context. The Westminster Government could definitely afford to fund a decent pay increase for local government workers if enough pressure is applied. We know that far
more can be done to make money available – for example some multi-national companies avoid paying huge amounts of tax, money that could be used for local government pay.
The money is there if we can get the Government to fund councils and council workers properly.
In previous years we have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer calling on him to fully fund local government pay increases and we will continue to put pressure on the
Treasury during the forthcoming pay round.
Low pay in local government
Low pay continues to be a concern in local government. The bottom spinal column point is now £9.50 outside London. This is below the Real Living Wage of £9.90. The government
has now set a new target for the National Living Wage of two-thirds of average earnings by 2024, with the age eligibility for the highest tier dropping to 23 in 2021 and then 21 by
2024 (thereby eliminating a separate rate for 21-24-year-olds). To achieve this, we calculate that local government pay at the bottom end needs to rise by at least 4.1% on
the bottom pay point in the next 3 pay awards, just to keep up with the legal minimum wage.
UNISON has existing Conference policy calling for a £10 an hour minimum wage.
The proposals
The NJC Committee agreed that our core objective must continue to focus on the restoration of decent pay levels for all members and a bold claim is needed.
The Committee also wanted to keep the claim simple and agreed not to recommend the inclusion of any NJC conditions in this pay claim. It is hoped that a simple pay claim will
make it easier to engage members in a strong, vocal pay campaign.
The Committee have formulated two options for the ‘headline’ claim for the 2022 pay claim. Rather than simply propose one option, the Committee is keen to get a clear picture
of members’ views and preferences. Branches are asked to consult members on the following two options:
OPTION A: RPI plus 2%
RPI is currently at 7.8%. Members are facing huge cost of living increases. For example, with the energy price cap increasing, the average energy bill is expected
to rise by over £700 a year. Rental prices are up by 8.3%, and fuel by 27.4%.
OPTION B: A flat rate of £2000 on each pay point
This would help to address low pay at the bottom end whilst giving all members a significant increase.
To give some examples of the percentage increase members would get if this were implemented: for pay points 1-3 it would represent an 11% increase. Pay points 15-
21 would get an 8% increase, and 33-40 a 5% increase.

Consultation process and timetable
Branches are asked to carry out as wide a consultation as possible on the contents of the proposed claim and return their results to your Regional Head of Local Government by
5pm on Tuesday 5 April 2022.
After the low turnout in the recent ballot we need to know if members are behind this year’s claim from the off.
The UNISON NJC Committee will meet in mid-April 2022 to consider the results of the branch consultation and to agree UNISON’s proposals for the 2022 pay claim. GMB and
Unite will also be consulting their members on what they would like to see in the claim. The intention is for the Trade Union Side to agree a claim for submission to the Local
Government Association (LGA) in May.

Pro-forma for branch returns

Please email the branch on office@plymouthinunison.org.uk with any feedback or participate in the poll on our Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1016787905024385/permalink/4942863002416836