Unite’s local government staff have voted overwhelmingly in a consultative ballot to reject the ‘insulting’ pay offer of 1.75 per cent and are supportive of taking industrial action for pay justice.

Unite’s 70,000 local government members voted by 81 per cent to reject  the 1.75 per cent offer earmarked for council staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland made by the Local Government Association (with 2.75 per cent for those on the bottom pay point) for 2021/22. Of the 81 per cent voting to reject the offer, 85 per cent were ‘supportive’ of taking industrial action.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Our members have made a huge contribution to keep public services running during the continuing Covid crisis.  They have held our services together at a time of national emergency. This resounding vote shows their anger at this insulting offer.

“With the cost of living soaring and tax hikes on the way, Unite is determined to ensure the Local Government Association thinks again and offers our members the fair and decent pay they undeniably deserve."

Unite’s national local government committee meets tomorrow (Thursday 7 October) to discuss the next steps in the pay campaign.

Unite national officer for local government Jim Kennedy said: “This overwhelming vote to reject sends a resounding message to the employers that hardworking and dedicated council staff are saying ‘enough is enough’.

“They have kept schools open, cared for our elderly, ensured the bins are emptied regularly, buried our dead and kept our libraries functioning – but this offer of 1.75 per cent is an insult and way below the RPI rate of inflation, currently at 4.8 per cent.

“Our national committee will discuss the next steps in the campaign – the option of a full-scale industrial ballot of our members is very much on the cards.”

Unite, the GMB and Unison are seeking a 10 per cent uplift in pay for council employees.


Notes to editors: 

Unite council workers in Scotland are voting on whether to take industrial action over the pay offer and the result is due on Thursday (7 October). The offer is £850 for those on £25,000 and below; two per cent for those earning £25,000-£40,000; and one per cent for those earning over £40,000.

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

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Unite is the leading union in the UK and Ireland, dedicated to defending and improving members' jobs, pay and conditions. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.