A Lobbying and Campaign Strategy for Local Government Pay

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2015 Local Government Service Group Conference
19 February 2015
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that local government pay and conditions remain the lowest in the public sector and that the effect of funding cuts on the Local Government workforce is largely overlooked by elected members and politicians. However, a reduced role for local authorities leads to greatly diminished local democracy.

Conference also notes that:-

1)The 2015/16 Local Government Finance Settlement reduces central government support by over £3bn in England and over £150m in Wales;

2)The Autumn Statement forecasts reduce the revenue available for all government departments by £30 billion by 2019/20 which suggests further cuts to local authority grants;

3)The LGA Funding Outlooks do not include any assumptions that address the real terms fall in local government pay in their estimates of the financial gap facing councils up to 2020;

4)The UNISON NJC Committee has agreed a strategy to implement conference motions on pay to date.

Conference calls on the Service Group Executive to:-

a)Work with regions and branches to develop an effective recruitment and organising strategy aimed at building membership density to develop stronger sector wide collective bargaining;

b)Encourage regions and branches to update RMS data;

c)Develop a high profile media and publicity strategy to publicise the justice of a fair pay deal in local government and that everyone uses local services;

d)Develop a hard-hitting political strategy of re-engagement with council leaders, mayors and councillors regardless of the political make-up of councils to press our case for a new deal for local government workers;

e)Establish a campaigning strategy and mechanism for publicising the role of councillors and the importance of lobbying elected members to UNISON members;

f)Encourage members to lobby their councillors on pay and funding and to hold them to their election promises;

g)Establish a regular newsletter for councillors to keep them up to date on issues concerning the local government workforce and to promote the benefits gained from strong collective bargaining machinery and build support for a ‘new deal’ for NJC workers;

h)Encourage Regions and branches to have regular contact with elected members on the Employers’ Side;

i)Build relationships with councillors through Regional/Provincial NJC councils.

j)Lobby and talk with Local Government and other relevant Ministers and Shadow Ministers;

k)Work with UNISON’s Labour Link to promote the NJC committee’s strategy on pay at all levels within the Labour Party;

l)Hold discussions with LGA/NILGA/WLGA Group Leaders and sympathetic groups.