Workplace Report (November 2021)

Bargaining news

Local authority workers demand 10%

Three trade unions representing local authority workers have moved a step closer to industrial action after their members collectively rejected the latest pay offer from the national employers. All three are demanding a minimum 10% pay rise. However, the current offer stands at:

• 2.75% on NJC pay point 1

• 1.75% on all NJC pay points 2 and above

Unite’s 70,000 local government members voted by 81% to reject the offer for staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which would be backdated to April 2021. Of those who voted to reject, 85% were “supportive” of taking industrial action.

According to the union’s national officer for local government, Jim Kennedy, the next steps for his members will very likely include a strike ballot. He said: “This overwhelming vote to reject sends a resounding message to the employers that hardworking and dedicated council staff are saying enough is enough.

“They have kept schools open, cared for our elderly, ensured the bins are emptied regularly, buried our dead and kept our libraries functioning – but this offer of 1.75% is an insult and way below the RPI rate of inflation, currently at 4.8%.”

General union GMB has similarly announced it will ballot its members on industrial action after 75% of its council worker members voted to reject the offer.

Earlier this week, the UNISON public services union announced it would ballot for industrial action among its 400,000 council and school members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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