Local Government Pay and Workforce Strategy

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2005 Local Government Service Group Conference
25 February 2005
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that each Government department has been asked to develop a pay and workforce strategy. In local government, the strategy developed by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Employers’ Organisation runs alongside the Children’s Workforce strategy led by Department for Education and Skills, which covers school support staff, social care, health service workers and others involved in providing services to children.

Conference voices its concern that the local government Pay and Workforce Strategy (PWS) has only recently had any trade union input and is being developed separately from the National Joint Council working groups set up to implement the findings of the Local Government Pay Commission.

Conference is even more concerned at:

1)The focus of the PWS, which is to achieve savings as part of the Government’s “efficiency review”

2)The absence of any reference to the Green Book

3)Talk of reduced expenditure on premium wage rates and sick pay to achieve efficiencies

4)Proposed remodelling of the entire workforce at no additional cost to deal with skill shortages and recruitment and retention problems

5)Proposals for “contribution related pay”, subject to local adjustment, alongside flexible benefit packages for employees

6)Talk of combining “the stability of national pay bargaining with a greater responsiveness to local and regional labour markets”

7)No additional expenditure on training or enhanced pay and grading as a result of remodelling or pay and grading reviews

Conference notes that the Pay and Workforce Strategy is designed to be “rolled out” by regional employers and Provincial Councils.

Conference calls upon the UNISON NJC Committee to:

a)Brief branches and regions on the Pay and Workforce Strategy and its shortcomings

b)Ask Staff Side Secretaries of Provincial/Regional Councils of the NJC to open a debate about the problems with the PWS, based on UNISON’s briefings

c)Re-assert UNISON priorities around closing the gender pay gap through pay and grading reviews and adequately funding workforce training and development in local government

d)Ensure that the Trade Union Side of the NJC and UNISON paid officials engage with the PWS Implementation Group to assert UNISON’s concerns and priorities

e)Ensure that negotiations on Green Book Part 2 or Part 3 conditions do not lead to the worsening of our members’ entitlements to sick pay or unsocial hours payments which the employers are seeking

Conference further notes that there is a real danger that individual branches will be isolated as employers seek to attack Green Book Part 2 and Part 3 conditions. To ensure this does not happen Conference calls on the Local Government Committee to give full support to any branch campaigning to defend its members terms and conditions – including supporting industrial action if necessary.