Council pay deal to be implemented despite Unite’s rejection

3 May 16

The Unite trade union has refused to approve the two-year pay offer for council workers, but acceptance from the other two officially recognised local government unions means the deal will be implemented.

In a statement today, Unite said that its members were defiant in the face of the “paltry” offer, which will see most staff receive a 1% increase in both 2016/17 and 2017/18. As part of the deal, lowest paid staff will receive higher increases to reflect the new National Living Wage.

Unite national officer for local government Fiona Farmer said the union had been determined not to approve the proposal.

“In a full nationwide postal ballot, our members overwhelmingly rejected the offer as it fell well short of our expectations on pay and failed to address the real loss of earnings our members have suffered since 2010,” she stated.

“It does nothing to restore the 20% real cut in earnings that have eroded our members’ pay since 2010, as well as the 25% reduction in the workforce, meaning that those remaining are working more for less. We are entering into the realm of poverty wages.”
However, because both the GMB and Unison, the other two unions recognised alongside Unite as part of the National Joint Council that negotiates local authority pay deals have backed the deal, it will now be implemented.

Farmer said she recognised the collective majority decision of the other unions and respected that the deal would be introduced.

Unite will continue to campaign to remove what Farmer called the “unjustified” 1% pay cap across the public sector as well as tackling councils which refuse to pay the ‘real living wage’, as set by the Living Wage Foundation.

Responding to the decision by Unite, an employers’ side spokesman said: “We’re disappointed that Unite could not accept the offer but hope that our hardworking staff may soon be able to receive the pay rise that they deserve.”

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