Pay – Campaigning & Balloting

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2022 Local Government Service Group Conference
18 February 2022

Recent pay campaigns across the UK have demonstrated that we need to do much more in order to build the confidence of our members in challenging bad practice by their employers.

We know that pay matters to members, who have suffered years of austerity, pay cuts/freezes and threats to jobs/services, but they often do not feel able to engage and participate in our democratic processes when we move to escalate action.

This conference welcomes the national review into pay and balloting and encourages the Local Government Service Group to fully engage and participate in the process.

In 2021 the Scottish Local Government Committee took a new approach as part of their SJC pay campaign. In addition to carrying out two consultative ballots they also conducted a national disaggregate industrial action ballot. Whilst turnout varied across the country, with the legal threshold being met in a number of areas, the national turnout was the highest of any national LG pay industrial action ballot at 44.2%. This ballot was part of a joint trade union strategy of escalating action which we were able to use to force the Scottish government to provide additional funding for an improved offer which added £86m to the paybill and secured the highest uplift for those on the lowest wages that we have ever achieved.

It is clear that we need a new approach to pay campaigning which ends the continued undervaluing of our members’ work. We must build in more time for campaigning, building members’ confidence and engagement and how best flex our industrial muscle on pay.

This conference calls on the Local Government Service Group Executive to:

1)Fully participate in the national pay campaigning and balloting review;

2)Make representations to the NEC calling for additional resources to be directed to the balloting sections;

3)Ensure telephone banking arrangements are in place and form part of the facilities available to regions and branches;

4)Consider how we can join up our campaigns across the four nations and implement the necessary arrangements to facilitate this.