A meeting of local government representatives from across UNISON (the NJC) met yesterday to consider the results of the UNISON consultation over the additional pay claim for 2017-2018. The consultation arose from Emergency Composite A, carried at 2016 Local Government Conference earlier this year:
“To submit an NJC Pay Claim for 2017/18 and to commence the process of consulting with branches and members on the composition of this claim after the Conference”.
The NJC Committee considered the composite at its meeting in August and decided to consult branches over a claim for a flat rate increase of £1 an hour on all NJC pay points. The UNISON consultation ended on 7 October.
GMB and Unite did not support the submission of an additional claim.
Results of UNISON consultation
50% of branches responded to the consultation, broadly in line with previous consultations over a proposed pay claim. 73% supported the NJC Committee’s proposed claim and 26% rejected it – a much higher proportion than in previous years. In 2016 3% rejected the proposed claim and 1% in 2015.
Local Government Association (LGA) responds
The Committee noted the results of the consultation and agreed to submit the claim immediately to the LGA. The claim was submitted on 13 October.
The LGA’s response received it on 14 October, and can be viewed here. As you will see, the employers have rejected the claim because:
“The Employers are very clearly of the view that the NJC reached, in good faith, an agreement on pay on 16 May 2016 that covers the period to 31 March 2018”
The campaign for a fair deal in 2018 and funding for the pay spine review begins now!
The NJC Committee agreed that all our efforts now need to go into campaigning for a positive outcome from the review of the pay spine and a decent offer in 2018. A further 1% pay offer for the majority in 2018/19 would not be acceptable. The Committee also felt that the review of the NJC pay spine, agreed as part of the 2016-2018 settlement, needs additional funding to ensure an outcome which is fair to all and tackles inequality in pay within the public sector. NJC pay is the lowest in the public sector, from the bottom to the top of the pay spine.
It was therefore agreed to start a campaign of political lobbying, which will call on branches and Regions to lobby councillors and MP’s for a fairer deal for school and council workers and for funding of the review of the pay spine. The union will also work to establish groups of parliamentary advocates within the English, Welsh and Northern Ireland parliaments to speak out for council and school workers and commission research to support a better deal for NJC workers in future.