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UNISON Lodge 2018/19 Pay Claim

UNISON Lodge 2018/19 Pay Claim

Unison calls for a 5% pay rise for all – and the foundation living wage for the lowest paid.

UNISON, GMB and Unite today lodged the following pay claim for all council and schoolBaloon workers employed on NJC pay in England, Wales and Northern Ireland:

The deletion of NJC pay points SCP 6-9 to reach the Foundation Living Wage of £8.45 (UK) and £9.75 (London) and a 5% increase on all NJC pay points

The claim is attached and has been submitted to the Local Government Association.

Below are the key arguments made in the claim:

  1. Declining value of NJC pay:
  • For the vast majority of NJC workers in local government and schools – last year’s pay ‘rise’ actually represented the EIGHTH consecutive annual pay cut since 2009.
  • Pay in local government and schools is one of the lowest in the public sector. No-one is paid a fair rate for the job they do.
  • A continuation of the 1 per cent pay cap would represent a further squeeze on our members’ quality of life that is even worse than during the 1980s and 1990s, exacerbating an already desperate situation for many.
  • The bottom rate of pay in local government – £7.78 – is only 28p above the National Living Wage (NLW) and well below the UK Foundation Living Wage rate of £8.45 and £9.75 in London.
  • Inflation is predicted to remain in excess of 3% for the next five years. This means that the cost of living for our members will rise by nearly 18% by 2021. In that context, a 1% pay offer for the sector would be unacceptable.
  • If pay is capped at 1% from 2018 – 2019, the average local government wage will fall in value by nearly £1,200. This would be on top of a real terms loss in pay of some 21% since 2009.
  • NJC workers on the bottom pay point will require a 15.7% increase in pay to reach the currently projected rate for the National Living Wage of £9 per hour by 2020.
  • Women are more than three quarters of the NJC workforce. The gender pay gap has widened in the public sector since the pay cap was introduced, even though it has narrowed in the wider economy. Endemic low pay is a gender issue and represents the undervaluing of women’s skills, knowledge and experience in schools and council services.2. Pay-related conditions of work: Most councils are slashing conditions of work such as unsocial hours payments – alongside the decline in basic pay. This means workers providing services that require them to work regular overtime, shift work and unsocial hours work, are suffering further reductions in pay as additional payments are cut.

    3. Job losses: Since June 2010, local government has lost over 750,000 jobs. Those workers left behind face increased workloads, pressure and stress – on top of shrinking pay packets. As a result, local services, and those reliant upon them, suffer. Many employees who have been made redundant have been replaced by agency staff – a false economy for councils in both the short and long term. Agency workers are expensive and public money is wasted in often high agency fees.

    4. Recruitment and retention: With pay comparing so badly with the rest of the public and private sectors, 71% of councils unsurprisingly report recruitment and retention problems.

    5. Equal pay: The National Living Wage has been introduced by the Government without any extra funding for councils and schools to pay for it. Indeed council budgets have been slashed by at least 40% since 2010. With NJC pay kept low by pay freezes or below-inflation increases, the National Living Wage has become the determinant of the bottom pay rate. This means that fair and transparent pay grades, based on job evaluation, are being squashed together at the bottom of the pay structure. With supervisors being paid similar rates to those they supervise, this leaves councils at risk of another round of costly equal pay claims. Applying the legal minimum pay rise to the bottom of the pay scale, and cutting pay for everyone else is unsustainable and not an option for the unions.

    Gear Up for the Pay Campaign!

    We will also be seeking meetings with Government and Shadow Ministers to press the case for funding for the NJC claim and the pay spine review. The first stage of our campaign is to build awareness of the NJC pay claim at local level with members.

    The Local Government Association have told us they will now start their consultation exercise on the pay claim and respond to us in late September.

    A document with full details of the claim can be found here.

 

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Staff Ball Tickets

This years Kensington and Chelsea Council staff ball takes place on Friday 2 June, 6pm toOscar 11.30pm, in the Great Hall.

If you are a member of staff you can book your tickets from summerball@rbkc.gov.uk

More details can be found here.

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The General Election and Voter Registration

To vote in the General Election on 8 June 2017 you must be on the Electoral Register by 22 May 2017

 You don’t need to register again if you’ve already registered, but you might wish to2010 General Election Polling Day check that you are on the Register. To do this your need to contact your local Electoral Registration Office. You can find contact details for it using the ‘postcode search facility’ on the front page of the Your Vote Matters website https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/

You should register to vote if you are:

  • 16 or over in England, (but you cannot vote until you are 18)
  • A UK citizen
  • A qualifying Commonwealth citizen; qualifying Commonwealth citizens are those who have ‘leave’ to enter or remain in the UK, or do not require such ‘leave’
  • A citizen of a European Union country living in the UK should register, but most cannot vote in UK Parliamentary elections
  • A citizen of the Republic of Ireland, Cyprus, or Malta, who is resident in the UK, can vote in UK Parliamentary elections. The definition of ‘resident’ is complex and it is largely at the discretion of the person responsible for the local Electoral Registration Office. If you think you might be eligible to register and to vote in UK Parliamentary elections, attempt to register and make the local Electoral Registration Office make a decision
  • A citizen of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or a British Overseas Territory living in the UK. Gibraltarians resident  in the UK may not vote in UK Parliamentary elections
  • You may register if you are a student or a British citizen living overseas, you are one of the above and serving in the UK armed forces
  • You may register even if you have no fixed address

Please note that a non-UK citizen who is resident in the UK and is married to a UK citizen, is not automatically eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary elections. And not all people born in the UK are automatically UK citizens, children born in the UK after 1 January 1983 are only British citizens if either their father or their mother is also British or, and if both parents are foreign nationals, they are legally ‘settled’ in the UK.

More details about who is eligible to register and vote in different UK based elections is available at: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/43954/Part-B-Entitlement-to-register-March-2010.pdf

By the way, it is too late to register for the 4 May 2017 local elections.

If you go to https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote you can:

  • register to vote
  • update your details; change of name or address etc
  • apply for a postal vote
  • ask for your name to be removed from the open register, if you are worried about your personal security

To register to vote using the online facility should only take 5 minutes. You will need your National Insurance Number and perhaps your Passport Number, if you have one.

You can also join the Electoral Register by post. The form that you need to complete can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/607718/Register_to_vote_living_in_england_and_wales.pdf

There are strong personal and political reasons for joining the Register. If your name is on the Register you can choose to vote, or indeed, choose not to vote, but if your name is not on the Register, you lose that choice. Citizens casting their vote in elections is a central part of our democracy. And it is not glib to say that men, and especially women, campaigned, fought and died to win the right to vote. In some parts of the world people are still fighting for democratic elections, so we should not take the right to vote lightly, or take it for granted.

Elections are your opportunity to determine the path of politics in your community and in the UK.

And if that is not enough to convince you, your local Electoral Registration Office could fine you £80 if you fail to join the register.

If you are resident in more than one place, you can register in multiple locations, but you may only vote in one at each election.

Everything you need to know about voting in the UK can be found at the Your Vote Matters website https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/ including the address and contact information of your local Electoral Registration Office.

 

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Save Wornington College

The Save Wornington College campaign has collected over 1600 signatures for the petition.

They will now be addressing the RBKC Full Council Meeting on Wednesday 26th April atJpeg college the Town Hall, on Hornton Street and we will take this opportunity to explain to the Councillors why the much loved adult education establishment is far too important an institution to be turned into more unaffordable housing with an unseen commitment to re-provide a smaller educational space.

The Save Wornington College campaign will highlight to the Council how the College has brought many positive, life changing opportunities to the North Kensington community and how this important resource needs to be protected for the future.

They will asking RBKC to support their demands that the entire building remains in educational use, that there is no reduction in the provision and diversity of courses offered, that there are no staff cuts and that the creche and other facilities on the Wornington site are protected.

There are three ways that you can help support the campaign over the coming month:

  1. Attend the banner making/social evening at the Venture Centre on Thursday 20th April at 6.30pm.

The meeting will take place at 6.30pm at the Venture Centre in Wornington Road on Thursday 20th April to make some placards and banners in preparation for the rally and address to the Council on 26th April. Materials will be supplied and  the session will end with an informal social gathering at the nearby pub “The Eagle” to discuss the campaign.

  1. Support the rally and address to RBKC Council on Wednesday 26th April at 6.00pm.

The gathering will take place outside the Town Hall in Hornton Street at 6.00pm on Wednesday 26th April to hold a rally prior to the campaign’s address to the Full RBKC Council Meeting that will commence in the main Council Chamber at 6.30pm. Please spread the word among the community about this important event.

  1. Campaign strategy meeting at the Venture Centre on Thursday 4th May at 6.30pm.

There will be a meeting at the Venture Centre at 6.30pm on Thursday 4th May to reflect on the address to Full Council and to plan the future of the Save Wornngton College campaign. Meeting will end at 8.00pm.

[Campaign leaflets here and here].

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UNISON NEC Elections

A reminder that the UNISON National Executive Committee (NEC) elections began on 3 April and will close on 28 April.

Turnout is often low in these vital elections and we would hope you would participate.

Members should have not received their ballot papers in the post by now and if not then contact UNISON Direct on  08000857857 to ensure they get a replacement.

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National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS) Update

UNISON has been consulting our members for their views on the government’s plans to introduce a news jpecgNational Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS) for children and family social workers who carry out statutory roles.  The Government plans to begin the roll out this year to your council and 30 others across England. The full list is here.

Our social worker members’ responses to our survey show that they overwhelmingly oppose the introduction of this system.  Our social care forum has also requested that we oppose it.  UNISON have therefore written the a letter that will be sent to the Leader and chief executive of this council and the 30 others, outlining our members’ objections and requesting that they refuse to participate in the roll out of NAAS.  The letter can be viewed here.

Once the Children and Social Work Bill becomes law and we have the finalised details relating the NAAS, we will then explore the implications of members not participating in it.  In the meantime we should focus our efforts on encouraging councils to not participate in the scheme.

PS.  The Association of Directors of Children’s Services have today highlighted their criticisms of the system http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2017/03/14/social-worker-accreditation-scheme-poor-value-directors-warn/

 

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The 2017 K&C Branch AGM

The 2017 Branch AGM was held on Wednesday 15 Feb in the Small Hall at Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall.

Sean Fox, Haringey Branch Secretary & National Joint Council Member for Greater London was the speaker at yesterday’s Branch AGM. Sean sits on the UNISON national committee that negotiates on pay with the local government employer.

NJC scales are local government pay scales, which are extensively used in the voluntary sector. They areagm-pic-one a result of negotiations between trade unions. Due to government restricted pay increases spinal points have begun to bunch up. Negotiations on a revised pay spine will begin in March, after the pay data to be used to model alternatives has been finalised and jointly agreed with the LGA.

Last year’s nominal 1% increase was actually wiped out by the 1 1/2 % increase made by the government to our members National Insurance contributions.

In 2010 and 2011 there was a national pay freeze in local government and no pay increase was given. Since then there has been an annual 1% pay increase and we are currently in the second year of a two-year 1% pay deal. The government (under Chancellor Osbourne) restricted local government pay increase to 1% until 2020. This would mean that earnings for our members in local government would be worth 1/3 less than in 2010.

Additionally this pay suppression is further impacted by higher inflation.

The UNION and its members will have to take action if they are to achieve a decent offer. If this fails to happen we run the risk of becoming accustomed to annual 1% increases and continual pay deterioration.  

A copy of the AGM booklet can be downloaded here.

 

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