Coventry City UNISON has received a message from Heather Wakefield, National Secretary of the Union’s Local Government Service Group, asking for your opinions about the national pay offer. A summary of the message is below..
‘The UNISON NJC Committee agreed last January to submit the NJC pay claim for 2018/19 earlier this year, to make our pay aspirations clear to the Local Government Association (LGA), whilst the negotiations on a revised NJC pay spine take place.
The NJC pay spine review was spurred by the introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW) and the fact that around 200 councils have voluntarily adopted the Foundation Living Wage.
The UNISON NJC Committee met on Thursday 27 April 2017 to discuss the contents of the NJC pay claim for 2018/19. In considering the proposed claim for 2018/19, the NJC Committee took into account the following factors:
– The aspiration of all three unions to achieve the Foundation Living Wage at the lowest pay point
– The ongoing decline in our members’ pay – worse than for any other workforce in the public sector. Pay is lower compared to other public sector groups throughout the NJC pay spine
– Unprecedented cuts in local government funding and increased pressure on schools The immense pressure our members are under with ever increasing workloads, deteriorating terms and conditions and persistent job insecurity
– The compression at the lower end of the NJC pay spine, which is over-riding job evaluated differentials and the need to maintain the differentials which might emerge from the pay spine review
– The need for a simple claim which is easy for members to understand. It should be seen as realistic and have credibility with members Proposed Pay Claim 2018/19 In order to achieve these objectives, the Committee is proposing the following claim for 2018/19: 5% increase on all NJC pay points and deletion of NJC pay points scp 6-9 1
– Context of pay claim: The sector faces the phasing out of revenue support grant and reliance on business rates; unprecedented cuts to funding; implementation of the National Living Wage; an ongoing pay spine review to maintain pay differentials.
– The 5% increase on all NJC pay points is to reflect inflation and provide some catch-up on lost earnings. The deletion of pay points 6-9 after the 5% increase has been applied to ensure that no NJC pay points fall below the Foundation Living Wage rate of £8.45 per hour.
– Pay at the bottom: Linked to legal minimum and remaining below the real Living Wage. NJC continues to be one of the lowest pay rates in the public sector.
– Low pay: A problem throughout the pay spine with those above in the middle and top of the spine receiving scant reward and differentials being threatened following years of bottom loaded pay settlements.
– Terms and conditions: Savaged across the board and impacting on pay.
– Job losses: Employment in local government has fallen by over three quarters of a million since June 2010.
– Recruitment and retention problems: Developing as value of pay plummets.
– Inflation: RPI at 3.2% and CPI at 2.3%. RPI to average 3.5% over 2017 and remain over 3% to 2021.
– Average earnings: Predicted to be 2.6% in 2017 rising to 3.6% by 2021.
– Average pay settlements: 2% for private sector; 1% for public sector.
Branches are asked to carry out as wide a consultation as possible on the contents of the proposed claim and return their results to your Regional Head of Local Government by 12 noon on Friday 26 May 2017.
It is very important that the NJC Committee gets a view from as many branches as possible and that members are engaged at this stage in the claim. The UNISON NJC Committee will meet on 31 May 2017 to consider the results of the branch consultation and to agree UNISON’s proposals for the 2018/19 pay claim. In the meantime, GMB and Unite are also consulting their members on what they would like to see in the claim. The intention is for the Trade Union Side to agree the claim on Wednesday 14 June and to submit it to the Local Government Association (LGA) immediately afterwards.
The LGA has indicated that they intend to consult councils over our claim and principles under-pinning possible pay spine models in June/July and respond to our claim in early autumn. It is likely that any pay offer will incorporate the new pay spine.
Our claim and the pay spine review will both require funding beyond 1% and pose significant challenges to councils and schools under further economic siege by the Conservative government.
The Committee is therefore proposing:
– A major political campaign at local, regional and national levels to highlight the case for funding.
– To provide branches with questions to ask election candidates about local government funding and pay
– Draw up a campaign timetable to start after our claim is lodged to highlight the issues surrounding NJC pay and funding cuts in councils and schools Campaign details will follow’.
We will update you on the outcome of the pay consultation and further developments as soon as we receive further information.
Coventry City UNISON