Pay Negotiations Update

The Employer’s Association has been informed by the Trade Union Unite that it is not prepared to sign a formal NJC pay circular (containing the 2 year deal). The Employer’s Association is now urgently considering whether there are Constitutional or other implications if the Employers and UNISON / GMB issue a pay circular that does not contain Unite’s signature. The Employer’s Association have asked the Trade Union Side to confirm formally their view in regard to this unusual situation.  

In the meantime, here are some FAQs that should help make sense of it all;

I was due to receive a pay increase with effect from 1 April 2016. Where is it?

Your pay is negotiated by the National Employers and UNISON, GMB & Unite who together make up the National Joint Council (NJC) which covers councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The negotiating process is known as “collective bargaining” which means that the National Employers represent councils, and the three unions represent their members. The National Employers need to be able to reach a formal agreement with all three unions before local councils can increase your pay.

On 9 December the National Employers made a final two-year pay offer of 1.00% increases in 2016 and 2017 for employees on pay points 18 and above.

However, over that same two-year period employees on pay points 6 to 17 would receive increases in pay of between 10.28% and 2.30%. The increase on the bottom pay point 6 would produce an hourly rate of £7.52 this year and £7.78 in April 2017; some way above the new National Living Wage of £7.20.

UNISON and Unite conducted ballots of their memberships through their local branches and recommended that the offer be rejected, which it duly was, albeit on apparently low turnouts.

However, GMB conducted a secret postal ballot of its individual members and the offer was accepted by a majority of 9:1 on a 23% turnout.

UNISON now plans to conduct a further ballot to see if there is support for strike action or whether its members wish to accept the Employers’ final two-year pay offer.

Unite is meeting on 21 April to decide its next steps.

The National Employers share your frustration that because of UNISON’s and Unite’s decision we are unable to get the extra money you deserve into your pay packet.

I am a GMB member and voted to accept the two-year pay offer. Why can’t I get my pay increase now?

Employees in councils are subject to the collective bargaining process and agreements reached by the NJC. Your local employer can only apply the pay award once the NJC has reached agreement and for this to happen UNISON and Unite now need to accept the pay offer. The National Employers cannot reach an agreement with just GMB.

I am not a union member. Why can’t I get my pay increase now?

For the same reason that GMB members can’t receive the pay increase; your local employer can only apply the pay award once the NJC has reached agreement and for this to happen UNISON and Unite now need to accept the pay offer.

Please click here for a link to the ful letter from the Local Government Association.

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