Unite, the UK’s leading union, has pledged to step up the fight for better pay, terms and condition for local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and is gearing up for fresh campaigns in councils.

Offer rejected

Unite’s local government members overwhelmingly rejected the national employers’ final pay offer. Green book (National Joint Council) members recorded a 78 per cent vote against the offer.

However, Unite has ruled out a national ballot for strike action in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Unite’s sister unions recognised for the green book have announced that their members have voted to accept the offer. The joint unions will be meeting in early November and it is expected that the national pay offer will be implemented following this.

Local pay campaigns 

Unite will instead focus on campaigns on local issues with Unite members covered by the green book. Where members are committed to mounting local campaigns, they will receive the union’s complete support. This will build on the localised pay campaigns that have already won pay increases for workers over the last year, including in Coventry, multiple councils in Northern Ireland, Rugby, Croydon and Bath/Somerset.

Fair pay

Unite acting national officer Clare Keogh said: “Unite is completely committed to fighting for fair pay for local authority workers. That campaign will now focus on local disputes, if our members are prepared to take forward a local campaign Unite will back them all the way.

“The cost of living crisis means that workers are struggling to even provide the basics for their families. If workers are prepared to fight, Unite will have their backs.”

Employers' offer

Local government employers’ made an offer of an increase of £1,925 on all pay grades, an increase of 4.04 per cent on allowances and an additional day’s holiday. However, the offer still amounted to a real terms pay cut on all spinal points. The offer also failed to address the decade long pay restraint policies which have seen local government pay decline by over 30 per cent in real terms.

The NJC sets out minimum standards and rates of pay for local government workers; part three of the green book allows for councils to negotiate local agreements and offer improved terms and conditions.


Notes to editors

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.