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2010 Local Government Service Group Conference
18 February 2010

Conference rejects the Local Government Employers’ ‘pay freeze’ imposed on the 1.4 million local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Conference deplores the fact that the employers have come to such a position without any negotiation. So far no offer has been made in Scotland in response to the SJC TU side pay claim but they are anticipating a similar position.

Conference rejects the unfounded assertion by leading (mostly Tory) Councillors that local government can’t afford even a modest pay increase. At the same time they have made over the odds efficiency savings and total unallocated reserves in England alone are £3 billion. On top of this many Council’s are choosing to increase their financial difficulties by freezing or cutting council tax.

Conference notes that Shadow Chancellor George Osborne MP has stated that that a Conservative government would impose a one-year pay freeze for the 4 million public servants earning more than £18,000 in 2011. Conference therefore rejects a pre – emptive move by the Tory LGA to impose a pay freeze this year. Some Local Authorities are still angry about last year’s increase and the 0.3% ACAS award in 2008.

Conference believes that the LGE and LGA ignores the fact that local government workers have the lowest bottom rate and conditions in the public sector. Over 60% earn less than the George Osborne’s pay freeze threshold of £18,000 a year.

At the time of writing, the NJC TU side is seeking urgent negotiations with the Employers and are consulting regions and branches on the way forward for our campaign.

Conference welcomes our broad based campaign, ‘Vital Services, Valued Staff’ being run by the three NJC trade unions and the Scottish Region’s ‘Public Works’ campaign to highlight the all issues facing local government workers: pay, pensions, privatisation, cuts and redundancies.

Conference calls upon the SGE to:-

1)Continue to build the joint union campaign within the NJC, SJC and at local level

2)Develop links across all local government bargaining groups within the UK to ensure a co-ordinated campaign against the pay freeze

3)Continue to highlight the vital roles and pay of local government workers to help counteract the negative media image of public sector workers, the attacks by tax payers alliance and other hostile organisations

4)Recruit members into the union to build our membership density and bargaining and industrial power

5)Produce further materials to continue to rebut the Employers’ position and to highlight all the issues facing members

6)Continue to support branches in their campaigns by providing materials, guidance and training on local government finance to build confidence in negotiating

7)To ensure the union utilises the Equality Impact Assessment processes to prevent cuts and discrimination by employers at local level