Local government pay – the National Joint Council (NJC)

Defending and improving members’ pay is one of UNISON’s main tasks.

We believe local government employees should be paid fairly, which is why we work together to negotiate better pay with employers.

For workers in local government and schools, pay and other terms and conditions are determined by a negotiating body; the National Joint Council (NJC) for local government services.

The NJC is made up of representatives from UNISON and other trade unions and the employers. The agreements they reach after their negotiations are contained in the “Green Book” which is available to download from the Local Government Association. UNISON has over half the trade union seats on the NJC and so is the majority union.

The NJC covers over 1.5 million local government and school workers and so is an extremely important negotiating body. It also has a wider footprint in that other organisations in the public and private sector follow the NJC’s agreements.

2021 NJC Pay Claim

The NJC pay claim was submitted by the trade unions (UNISON, Unite and GMB) representing 1.4 million local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on Monday 15 February 2021.

The claim calls for a 10% pay rise for local government workers. You can read a summary of the claim here.

The full claim document can be found in the resources section below.

Find out more about UNSION’s pay campaign in support of the pay claim.

2020 NJC Pay Award

On 21 August 2020, UNISON’s NJC committee agreed to accept the pay offer for the year 2020/21, which included:

  • a 2.75% pay increase
  • a one-day increase in the Green Book minimum level of annual leave
  • joint work on mental health

The committee said the offer fell far short of the claim and did not properly reward key workers for their exceptional contributions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they agreed it was the best result achievable through negotiation.

UNISON will now begin work on the next NJC pay claim.

London Staff

The pay spines for NJC employees in inner and outer London include consolidated London Weighting. 2020/21 pay spines for London staff can be found here