Council employers offer 1% pay rise for next two years

9 Dec 15

Most council staff would receive a 1% pay rise in each of the next two years in a proposal published today by local government employers.

The Local Government Association’s National Employers group, which represents councils from England, Wales and Northern Ireland in the National Joint Council that negotiates pay deals, said the offer would be “a fair deal for employees”.

Under the plan, staff with salaries starting at £17,714 per annum would get a 1% increase in both 2016/17 and 2017/18. Those earning less than this would receive higher increases to take account of the new National Living Wage, which will be introduced at £7.20 from April, employers’ side chair Sian Timoney said.

“Despite the challenges now facing local authorities following the Spending Review and new National Living Wage, there is a broad consensus among councils that there should be a pay offer to staff this year,” she added.

“This offer balances our commitment to increase the pay of our hardworking employees with the responsibility we have to address the ongoing financial pressures we face. We believe that this is a fair deal for employees, given the limits of what we can afford, and a fair deal for the taxpayers and residents who use and pay for the vital services which local government provides.”

The pay offer would increase the total local government pay bill by 2.4% (£364.2m). Of this, 0.4% is intended to meet local government’s immediate obligations under the National Living Wage and to start the process of moving towards the expected £9 an hour Living Wage level by 2020. Chancellor George Osborne said in his Summer Budget that public sector pay increases would be capped at an average of 1% for the next four years as part of efforts to get the public finances in surplus by 2019/20.

Responding to the announcement, Unison’s head of local government Heather Wakefield said: "Unison’s National Joint Council committee will meet on Monday to consider the full details of the LGA's pay offer. The committee will then decide the basis of the union’s consultation with members.

“The three NJC unions – Unison, Unite and GMB – will meet in February to consider the outcome of their respective consultation processes and to decide next steps. "

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