As reported from 1st October, UNISON members have voted overwhelmingly to reject the Local Government Employers’ offer of a 1.75% pay increase (2.75% for those on
pay point 1). 79% of members voted to reject the offer, and we now know that members of GMB and Unite have voted to reject, with similar percentages.
This overwhelming majority of UNISON members makes clear the strength of feeling among local government workers about their pay. Council and school workers have been
the unsung heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, working tirelessly and often at risk to their own safety to serve their communities. Meanwhile, since 2010 the value of their pay has
fallen by 25%. The 1.75% pay offer is completely inadequate and UNISON members have made their feelings about it clear.
UNISON’s NJC Committee therefore decided to move to ballot members on industrial action. Ballot papers are scheduled to go out in early December, and members will be
asked whether they want to take strike action to secure an improved pay offer. UNISON will be asking members to vote ‘yes’ to strike action.
Meanwhile, the Joint Trade Union Side have written to the Employers’ Side, asking them to return to the negotiations and making clear that they need to make an improved pay offer.
We have also asked them to re-consider their refusal to engage in lobbying of the Westminster Government, alongside the unions, to try to secure more funding for local
government pay. We know that local government finances are difficult, but if the employers are serious about valuing the work our members do, they will work with us to get a fairer
deal for their staff.
You can read the Joint Trade Union letter here: https://msgfocus.com/files/amf_unison/project_131/Letter_to_employers_re_Pay_Offer.pdf
UNISON have issued a press release to highlight our rejection of the offer, the strike ballot, and our call for an improved offer here: https://www.unison.org.uk/news/2021/10/council-andschool-staff-deserve-increased-pay-offer-say-unions/
Like UNISON, Unite will also be balloting members for industrial action. GMB are holding a further consultative phase first, but we hope they will then join us in balloting members for strike action.
Campaign materials and resources In the coming days, we will be launching new campaign branding and then a range of campaign resources, aimed at explaining the dispute to members, encouraging then to
vote, and promoting a strong ‘votes yes to strike’ message.
For all of the latest news and campaign resources, visit the campaign web page: https://www.unison.org.uk/ourcampaigns/fair-pay-now-council-school-workers/
Or contact the branch office for a supply. We will need members in all workplaces to help get the word out
Update your details
Preparing for an industrial action ballot of members across several thousand employers obviously involves a huge amount of work at branch, regional, and national levels.
It is of course crucial that our records are up to date in advance of the ballot. Please check and update your details here: https://www.unison.org.uk/updateyour-details/