Public sector unions demand inflation-busting 6.4% pay rise

14 Dec 00
Trade union demands for a £1,000 pay rise for every council employee in England and Wales would cost local authorities £800m per year, according to their representative body.

15 December 2000

The Employers' Organisation (EO) for local government calculates that the flat-rate increase would mean an average pay rise of 6.4% for workers, with the lowest paid receiving 11% and the highest paid 3%.

Public sector unions Unison, the GMB and the TGWU, outlining their position as the 2001/02 pay negotiations got under way with the employers, said the inflation-busting rise was needed to tackle low pay.

The unions, which represent 1.3 million council workers, claimed it would bring employees' wages into line with those in other sectors and help boost recruitment.

It is the first time for several years they have demanded a flat-rate increase which, if successful, would ensure all employees earned at least £5.11 per hour.

Unison national secretary Malcolm Wing said council employees were underpaid and undervalued because of the culture of 'more for less' that had gripped local government in recent years. 'It's no wonder record numbers are leaving their jobs. Only a morale-boosting pay increase will reverse the decline,' he said.

The employers will ask local authorities for their views over the coming weeks and begin talks with the unions in February.

An EO spokesman said: 'Last year the unions asked for a 5% rise with a minimum of £5 an hour for all staff. The actual settlement was a 3% increase.'


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