UNISON CALLS FOR £1 AN HOUR PAY RISE FOR ALL – AND THE LIVING WAGE FOR THE LOWEST PAID
UNISON, GMB and Unite are calling for a pay rise of £1 an hour for all local government workers on NJC pay in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 1 April 2014.
A pay rise of £1 an hour would mean that the lowest scale point 5 would rise from £6.45 pence an hour to the Living Wage, which is £7.45 pence . Everyone above the lowest scale point would also receive a flat rate increase of £1 an hour. It would also apply to everyone in London, where the Living Wage and pay rates are higher .
• Local government pay is the lowest in the public sector – from the bottom to the top of the NJC pay scales
• YOUR pay has fallen by 16% after inflation since 2010
• Only a handful of other public sector workers earn less than the Living Wage – in local government it’s nearly half a million
• This is because of the Coalition’s cuts, the pay freeze in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and the below-inflation 1% pay award this year
• If earnings had risen with inflation, the bottom rate would now be £7.53 pence an hour – above the Living Wage
• And many of you have lost more through local attacks on unsocial hours payments, overtime and car allowances or transfer to term time or zero hours contracts
• Local government workers earning less than £21,000 were not paid the £250 promised by the Coalition Chancellor, George Osborne, in 2011 and 2012. That’s a shameful 1 million employees who lost out!
• Councils have lost over 450,000 jobs since 2010 – with more to go. YOU keep doing more for less to keep councils services going. YOU deserve a pay rise which starts to make up for lost earnings
• Many of you have told us that YOU can’t manage on your pay. More and more council workers depend on loans, hand-outs and food banks to survive
• That’s just not good enough. YOU are worth just as much as other public sector workers doing similar jobs
But won’t a pay rise mean more lost jobs and services?
• £1 an hour is not a fortune. Overall it’s an 8% increase. That’s much less than the 16% you’ve all lost since 2010
• Councils have saved almost a quarter from their pay bills in the last three years – much more than the £1 an hour we want this year
• The Living Wage of £7.45 is still 2p an hour below the official poverty line of £7.47. UNISON says that nobody should earn less than the Living Wage
• 80 councils have now paid the Living Wage and more are considering it. That’s great, but we want the Living Wage as the bottom rate for all through negotiation this year – not a free- for- all at local level
• Councils still have money to put into reserves – now £19 billion! The extra £2.3 billion they put in the bank in the last two years could fund our £1 an hour claim, with some to spare!
• A £1 an hour pay rise would put money back into your local economy and help get the whole economy going again
• The government would receive large amounts in extra taxes and national insurance – enough to meet a large part of our claim
• Introducing the Living Wage in the public sector would save the government £2.2.billion through paying out less on tax credits and means tested benefits. There would also be increased income to the Treasury from tax and national insurance. The government can’t afford NOT to deal with low pay in local government!
• The Coalition’s ‘austerity’ measures aren’t working anyway. Cutting your pay has just taken money out of the economy and the government is having to borrow to pay for benefits
• The UK is the world’s 7th richest economy. We can afford the Living Wage for the lowest paid and £1 an hour for all providing vital local public services
• The government should collect the £120 billion owed in taxes by tax avoiders and evaders and by off-shore companies – not punish low paid local government workers
What can YOU do to help win UNISON’s £1 an hour claim?
• Tell all your work mates about it
• Send them a link to this article
• Talk to non-members and tell them to get on board with UNISON – only a strong union can get them the pay they deserve
• Write to us at the Local Government Section, UNISON Centre, 130 Euston Road, London NW1 2AY and tell us what low pay and cuts to conditions mean for you
• Keep up to date by logging on to our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/UnisonInLocalGovernment
• This will be a tough campaign to win. Get ready to join in campaign activities. E-mail with ideas for our campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org