Living On The Edge

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2012 Local Government Service Group Conference
23 February 2012

Conference condemns the treatment of local government workers across the four UK countries by their employers who as well as cutting jobs, are in an increasing number of places, attempting to cut hours, overtime pay, unsocial hours payments, car allowances, increments and annual leave to name a few.

Conference notes that this is on top of a two year pay freeze and soaring inflation which means for NJC workers that typical full-time hourly earnings in local government have sunk back to the levels of the early 1990s. Typical part-time hourly earnings have fallen back to 2002 levels. Life is no better in Scotland where they are currently entering into the second year of an imposed pay freeze.

Conference applauds those branches who have successfully submitted and gained the introduction of the Living Wage and welcomes the pay claim submission by the Scottish region which additionally calls for the introduction of a Living Wage with a minimum hourly rate of £7.15.

Conference believes that local government workers have been disregarded for too long, with more and more members living on the edge of poverty. Conference welcomes the New Policy Institute and UNISON research which highlights the impact of the employer’s race to the bottom of the pay ladder on our members. 440,000 workers in the lowest quarter of NJC earnings and many are dependent on in-work benefits to survive.

Conference opposes employers who merely seek to impose terms and conditions changes through the use of dismissal (S.188) notices. Conference urges branches to use the Service Group bargaining advice and equality impact assessment process to fight these cuts to hard fought-for terms and conditions.

Conference calls on the Service Group Executive and local government sector committees to:

1)Continue to develop and maintain an active local government worker campaign which combines all the issues affecting members including pay and attacks on conditions;

2)Produce guidance and continue to support branches in living wage campaigns;

3)Work alongside London Citizens and Citizens UK to campaign for a Living Wage for our members;

4)Conduct further analysis of the pay differentials between chief officer/senior managers pay and lower pay;

5)Produce model pay statements and collect data on Local Authority’s pay statements;

6)Produce further advice and campaign materials to support branches in local disputes and campaigns to protect pay and conditions, mainstreaming equalities considerations throughout.