About 70,000 local government workers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, have shown their defiance of a ‘paltry’ one per cent offer by not signing the two-year pay deal.
But the union has conceded that it is part of a collective bargaining process and the majority of the other staff side unions had agreed to the offer which will now be implemented by local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Local Government Employers offer is for a two-year pay deal of one per cent for the years starting April 2016 and April 2017.
Unite national officer for local government Fiona Farmer said: “Unite, the fightback union, was determined not to sign up to the paltry two-year pay offer from the employers.
“In a full nationwide postal ballot, our members overwhelmingly rejected the offer as it fell well short of our expectations on pay and failed to address the real loss of earnings our members have suffered since 2010.
“It does nothing to restore the 20 per cent real cut in earnings that have eroded our members’ pay since 2010, as well as the 25 per cent reduction in the workforce, meaning that those remaining are working more for less. We are entering into the realm of poverty wages.
“We do, however, recognise the collective majority decision of the other unions and respect that this offer will now be implemented across local authorities.
“Pay in local government is the lowest across all public services and Unite will continue to campaign to remove the unjustified one per cent cap on pay, actively fight back against the Tories’ cuts and tackle councils which refuse to pay the ‘real living wage’.
“A total of 60 per cent of the 1.3 million local government workforce in the three countries covered are earning less than average annual wage of £27,600.”
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble in the Unite press office on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.