UNISON to consult members over meagre pay offer

UNISON is to consult more than 600,000 of its local government and school members over industrial action, following a meagre 1% pay offer made today.

Around 50,000 of the lowest-paid local government workers will receive a rise that is slightly above inflation, while the remainder of the workforce – around 90% – will receive just 1%.

The 1% offer from Local Government Employers will apply to more than one million workers including teaching assistants, planners, administrators, social workers and engineers.  

For these workers, the offer represents a real terms cut in basic pay of almost 20% since the Coalition came to power, following three consecutive years of pay freezes followed by below inflation rises in 2013 and 2014.

Additional pay-related cuts at local level are now widespread across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

UNISON’s Head of Local Government Heather Wakefield said: “It is outrageous that the vast majority of local government workers have effectively been offered another pay cut.

“Although the long overdue modest rise for the lowest paid workers is welcome, this offer is another slap in the face for local government workers.

“Just this week we learned of the scandal of cabinet ministers happily approving pay rises of up to 36% for their own special advisors, while condemning thousands of other public sector workers to poverty pay.

“UNISON has seen a growing number of workers forced to rely on food banks and in-work benefits as a result of continuous pay freezes.”