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UNISON local government staff accept new pay deal

UNISON council workers have today agreed to accept a 2.75% pay offer for this year.

Staff in the local government sector voted two to one (66%) in favour of the 2020/21 pay award, which will apply to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The union’s national joint council committee accepted the offer from employers but said it fell far short of the 10% claim and did not properly reward key workers for their exceptional contributions throughout the pandemic.

UNISON head of local government Jon Richards said: “Council staff have gone above and beyond to keep communities safe and services running over the past few months.

“Work will now begin on next year’s claim and employers must work with us to secure additional funding from the government. This is so council workers get the decent fair reward they deserve.”

Branch Result ; On a 15.6% turnout PiU members voted to accept the offer by majority of 3 to 1


Everything comes at once doesn’t it.

Just as we are all dealing with the return to the workplace after lockdown (Not return to work, most of us have been working extra hard from home of through other special arrangements) Then the council announce a round of EVRS as a prelude to yet another year of cuts. So not the ideal time to talk about pay then?

Well maybe not, but there are also reasons why this is exactly the time. All council budgets are in tatters this year. We will all have to be bailed out by Westminster and so actually this may be a time to stand together with the employers and demand a fair settlement. One that avoids any council having to deal with restructures or reviews of services at least until we are back to normal. And while we are at it, one that rewards local government and school staff for all that they have done over the last few months. I know not all the applause was for us, but some of our staff were providing care to the elderly and vulnerable, some of them were out in the community emptying the bins (and you know we all had a clear out in April) or looking after key worker children in schools. We deserve better; but it’s clear that we won’t get it without a fight.

Plymouth in UNISON won’t tell you how to vote. It’s important that in any of these exercises members express themselves honestly.

But we can say to you that this is your opportunity to stand up not just for yourselves and your pay packets, but for the future of public services.

Demand a decent pay rise, Demand to be appreciated, Demand a fair deal for schools and local Councils.


The Local Government Employers’ NJC pay offer comprises:

  • With effect from 1 April 2020, an increase of 2.75% on all NJC pay points 1 and above
  • With effect from 1 April 2020, an increase of one day to the minimum annual leave entitlement as set out at Part 2 Para 7.2 in the National Agreement. (this will not affect council staff but may benefit some school staff on term time only contracts)
  • Continued discussions on “a comprehensive joint national review of the workplace causes of stress and mental health” 
  • Discussions, without prejudice, to examine all options for ensuring the sector – and the NJC pay spine – can meet the challenge of the Government’s target for the National Living Wage in the coming years.


The NJC Committee’s view is that this is a poor pay offer, which falls short of what members need and deserve and does not reflect their worth but this is the best offer achievable by negotiation and so members need to understand that a vote to reject is a call to be balloted for industrial action.

If we have an email address for you should get an electronic ballot in your inbox. Polls are open until 11th August.

If you don’t get one can download one here Ballot_Paper_-_NJC_pay_2020_consultation and return it to office@plymouthinunison.org.uk.

You can also get yourself on our email list by sending us your email address with your membership number (better still update your details yourself at  https://www.unison.org.uk/my-unison )

All Plymouth city council and schools* employees can vote along with any other employer whose pay is tied to the NJC national agreement**


You can also demand your local councillors stand with us. They are all accessible to their constituents through the Council website. The branch shall be speaking on your behalf but it never hurts that they should hear from voters.


*Academies with separate negotiating bodies are not included. In Plymouth this is only the Connect MAT and Plymouth CAST the rest of you please take part

** NJC conditioned employers Members who have been transferred out under TUPE from a local authority should not be consulted unless they are contractually conditioned to NJC pay and conditions. This will affect members employed by ALMOs, local authority trading companies, mutuals, private companies, housing trusts, third sector employers and academies.

An NJC conditioned employer is one in which we have evidence that one or more of the following apply to at least some of that employer’s employees:

1.  A term in an individual’s contract of employment that entitles her or him to NJC pay awards in their current employment and that entitlement does not arise/continue through the operation of TUPE

2.  A collective agreement entered into post-TUPE transfer, setting out an entitlement to NJC pay awards

3.  Following a TUPE transfer, an employer has habitually observed NJC pay awards. The definition of habitual is: Either: observance of NJC pay awards in 2015 – 2020 inclusive Or: observance of both years of the 2018-20 NJC settlement, plus another positive indicator in writing that the employer regards itself as consistently observing NJC pay awards such as a letter or minute of a meeting