If you’re a local government member, it’s time for you to decide. Make sure you have your say on your pay.

UNISON has launched a consultation, to allow members to decide whether to accept or reject a pay rise of 2.75% and a one day increase in the minimum annual leave allowance.

The offer falls well short of what members need and deserve. However, UNISON’s NJC committee (the body that negotiate your pay) believe it is the best pay offer that can be achieved by negotiation.

The Local Government Association has made it clear that it will not approach the UK government to request any further money for local government pay. Therefore the NJC committee agreed to put the offer to members and launch a full consultation.

Read the report from the NJC committee’s decision to consult

The final pay offer would give members:

  • a 2.75% pay increase;
  • a one-day increase in the Green Book minimum level of annual leave;
  • joint work on mental health.

What’s next?

Members will be asked by their branch whether you want to accept or reject the pay offer. A consultation pack will be sent to branches in the week of 22 June, and branches will send information to members to help you decide. Make sure you keep your eye out for communications from UNISON.

UNISON staff and activists recorded a briefing on the pay offer, to explain some of the detail, and help you make up your mind. Watch the video and make sure you have your say on your pay.

Make sure your details are up to date

Check on My UNISON. If your branch do not have your correct information, they cannot consult you for your decision on the pay offer. It is crucial that all members play their part. It takes two minutes.

Update your details online here

Tell your colleagues

Let your colleagues know that it’s time for them to have their say on their pay. Use the graphics below on your social media. If they’re a UNISON member, it will be a nice reminder. And if they’re not, what a great way to encourage them to join.

Download the graphics

Join UNISON online


Portrait of Jon Richards

Blog: Worth more than a clap

How you can support the campaign for a decent, fair pay rise for all our key workers in councils and schools

Local government pay – UNISON statement

Union will continue to campaign for more funding for the pay of key workers in local government and schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Members travel to Downing Street to demand living wage

Birmingham unions and council join forces to demand funding for 10% pay rise and £10 an hour minimum

Unions call for a 10% pay rise for local government workers

Council staff have paid a heavy price during the years of austerity





LG pay 2020

  • What is the NJC?

    The National Joint Council (NJC) is made up of representatives from UNISON, other trade unions and local government employers (organised by the Local Government Association). The NJC negotiates local government pay for most local authorities in England, Northern Ireland and Cymru/Wales.

    Each year the unions submit a pay claim. The employers respond with a pay offer, and after negotiations, UNISON consults members on the final offer.

    The final pay award is applied to the NJC pay spine, which is used by councils and schools to construct their local pay grades (London and some other councils have their own pay spines).

  • What is the background to this year’s pay offer?

    Local Government has suffered huge funding cuts since 2010

    Pay has fallen by around 20% since 2010

    The LGA chose not to join the unions in asking the government for more funding for pay

    COVID-19 has left councils with even more uncertainty about their future finances.

  • What was this year’s NJC Pay Claim (2020-21)?

    UNISON and the other unions asked for:

    • £10 per hour for NJC SCP 1 – an increase of around 11%
    • A 10% increase on all other pay points

    In addition:

    • A 1 day increase to minimum annual leave
    • A 2 hour reduction to the standard working week
    • A national review into stress and mental health
  • What is UNISON’s response to the pay offer?

    The NJC committee (which is comprised of UNISON members) met on 5 June and decided:

    • This is the best offer achievable by negotiation
    • Not to make an accept or reject recommendation to members
    • The offer falls far short of what members deserve
    • To note that councils face funding difficulties and inflation is low
    • To launch a member consultation on the offer asking members to accept or reject the offer
    • If members wish to reject the offer, they would need to be prepared to take industrial action
  • When will I receive the pay rise?

    Once a pay settlement has been reached, the final agreed pay award will be backdated to 1 April 2020.

  • Who is covered by the NJC?

    Most councils in England, Wales and Northern Ireland use the NJC. If you’re not sure, ask your branch.

    Different NJC councils using the NJC pay spine have different grading structures. Some NJC councils do not use the NJC pay spine – or have a local variant of it. But if they follow the NJC pay award, they will apply the percentage increase to whatever pay spines they use.

    Schools members – if you work in a local authority school and the local authority follows the NJC, then you are covered by this increase.

    Academy and Multi-Academy Trust members – most academies and MATs follow the NJC. Ask your branch if you’re not sure.

    Ask your branch if you don’t know what your local grading structure looks like.

  • How long does the consultation run for?

    The pay consultation started on the 23 June. It is due to run for 7 weeks and will end on 11 August.

    Branches or regions will send information to members, asking them to accept or reject the pay offer.

  • What do I need to do as a UNISON member?

    Due to Covid-19 most branches are likely to consult members over email – so make sure your membership details are up to date. You can update them online here:


    UNISON needs a high turnout to get an accurate picture of all members’ views, so please remember to vote in the consultation – it’s your union and your pay!

  • What will happen once the consultation has finished?

    After we have the results of the vote from every UNISON branch, UNISON’s NJC Committee will meet to consider the results and decide on our next steps. The NJC Committee has reps elected from every region and nation covered by the NJC.