Further pay talks took place on 28 March 2013 with the employers and elected representatives. The joint trade unions made it clear that we wanted to reach agreement at an early stage as our members have endured a three year pay freeze and earnings have fallen by 16%.
The initial options outlined by the employers, which included detrimental changes to conditions, were not acceptable and in no way met our members’ aspirations on pay.
The Oxford City Agreement was discussed along with the growing number of councils now looking to negotiate at a local level on pay. It was also highlighted that a significant number of councils are looking to implement the living wage. In addition the majority of public sector workers covered by the Pay review bodies will receive 1% in 2013 and it is unacceptable for pay in local government to fall even further behind other public service workers. Job losses and further cuts means that our members are now doing much more for much less.
The unions are committed to retaining national collective bargaining and we are seeking a fair and decent offer on pay.
The employers agreed to give further consideration to the points raised by the unions and will respond with a formal offer by the end of April 2013.