Sector Bargaining

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2010 Local Government Service Group Conference
18 February 2010

Conference rejects calls by politicians and academics for local or individual bargaining in Local Government.

Conference notes that the Local Government Employers (LGE) has given notice to terminate the JNC for Craft Workers to incorporate them into the NJC bargaining machinery. LGE have for some time been considering single table bargaining for all local government workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Conference believes the NJC for England, Wales and Northern Ireland has suffered from significant neglect and disengagement by the LGE, whose political ‘masters’ consistently undervalue the NJC bargaining machinery. This year the employers have not even negotiated on pay but imposed a pay freeze.

The Chief Officers JNC has not met in a number of years and for the last two years the pay ‘negotiations’ have been conducted purely by correspondence.

At local level there are increasing attacks on facility time and trade union recognition, particularly by ‘new’ Conservative councils. This trend will only increase if the Conservatives get into power. However, we need to recruit more members into the union to build our membership density, bargaining and industrial power, if we are to have any chance of fighting these attacks.

Conference notes that the UNISON NJC committee’s policy is to maintain sector- wide bargaining and support branches in opted out councils to campaign and negotiate for a return to the NJC machinery.

Conference calls upon the SGE and sector committees to:-

1)Support increased recruitment activity across all bargaining groups in local government

2)To produce materials to promote the value of sector wide bargaining

3)Provide advice to branches on how to resist attempts by local authorities to withdraw from sector wide bargaining

4)Provide advice and support to branches faced with attacks on terms and conditions and recognition

5)Continue to support Regions with opted out Councils