Care workers, refuse collectors, social workers, teaching assistants, community workers, street cleaners and so many more go above and beyond every single day. Local government staff keep communities safe, clean and accessible, yet there is often little or no recognition for your hard work.

With the cost-of-living skyrocketing to new highs every day, it’s time to rise up and demand decent pay for the work you do.

NJC pay 2023

Note – NJC pay covers council and school workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Following the results of our ballots in the summer, UNISON’s NJC Committee made the decision not to pursue industrial action. UNISON met with the other local government unions, GMB and Unite, on Wednesday 1 November, and the joint decision is to accept the pay offer for 2023 of an increase of £1,925 on all NJC pay points (pro rata’d for part-time and term time only staff). The pay award will be backdated to 1 April 2023. 

Because of the way London Weighting is included in members’ pay, the final settlement figures are different for members in Greater London. There is a separate joint pay circular for London which explains the rates and details on London pay spines can be found in the ‘resources’ tab below.

We want to thank you for your patience while we worked to resolve this year’s pay dispute. The local government employers have been informed and our immediate priority is to get the money into the pay packets of our hardworking members as soon as possible. 

If you have any questions, please contact your branch directly or check our FAQs at the bottom of this page. 

NJC pay 2024

The NJC Committee will be meeting in November and we are starting preparations for the 2024 pay campaign as a matter of urgency, starting with consulting on and submitting a joint pay claim. The fight to restore local government pay will continue and we plan to be stronger than ever to get fair pay for council and school workers. 

Get involved

Here are some ways you can help in the fight for fair pay:

  • Encourage colleagues to join UNISON – if someone in your workplace isn’t yet a member, get them to sign up so they ca get involved in the fight for fair pay. They can join online and it only takes five minutes:

      Join UNISON

  • Make sure that you are following us on social media for the latest updates and to have your say on pay:

      Follow us on facebook

      Follow us on twitter

      Follow us on instagram


Local government unions agree to accept pay offer for 2023

‘The first priority is to get this money into members’ pay packets as soon as possible’

Christina McAnea at 2023 LG conference

General secretary urges delegates to ‘get the vote out’

Christina McAnea stresses the importance of making sure the NJC ballot passes the 50% threshold

Glen Williams speaking at 2023 LG conference

Time to fight for a fair pay rise

Local government conference opens in Liverpool with a refusal ‘to be made poorer by this government’

Christina McAnea, arms folded, in front of conference stage - 'Fighting for our future'

Blog: We must stop this managed decline of local government

I know it’s a difficult decision to vote to take action and be prepared to lose a day’s pay, but we’ve won through strike action before, and I have every confidence we can do it again

England’s largest academy trust withholding back pay from staff, says UNISON

Many workers at United Learning chain losing out on wages



2023 NJC Pay

  • How do I access UNISON’s Benefits Calculator and further support?

    UNISON’s There For You charity provides a range of services to support low paid members. Members can access the Online Benefits Calculator at Members can find out more about the full range of support provided by There For You on our website. 

  • How will the pay award affect my student loan repayments?

    If an employee has a student loan and, if the receipt of the backpay lump sum puts the individual above the monthly repayment threshold, then a student loan repayment will be deducted from wages. However, if in the following months, wages return to below the relevant monthly repayment threshold then further student loan repayments should not be taken. At the end of the tax year if total wages for the year are below the annual student loan repayment threshold then the employee can request a refund of the student loan repayment/s that they have made. Details on how to get a refund can be found here (Repaying your student loan: Getting a refund – GOV.UK) and information on student loans can be found here. 

    Please note: UNISON is not able to give personalised advice about student loan repayments. The repayment thresholds vary depending on which student loan/s the individual received. 

  • How will the pay award affect my Universal Credit?

    The pay award may result in a reduction in the amount of Universal Credit individuals receive as earnings will rise. The 2023 pay award is for a consolidated pay increase of £1,925 on all NJC pay points. The pay rise will not be paid as a one-off lump sum – it will be consolidated into basic pay which is spread across twelve months.  

    However, the 2023 NJC pay settlement is backdated to 1 April 2023 which means that employers will also be making a one-off payment of back pay owed to their employees. It is expected that the pay rise is likely to be implemented in December 2023. This means that in December 2023 employees should receive their new rate of pay, plus eight months of backpay (for April to November). Please remember that pay – including the pay rise – is pro-rata for part-time/term time only employees and that all pay is subject to tax and national insurance deductions. 

    For the month in which the pay rise is implemented the amount of take-home pay will be significantly higher due to the backpay element. This may have an impact on universal credit payments in the following month/s.  

    As Universal Credit is based on individual members’ own personal circumstances, UNISON does not know exactly how individual members may be affected and cannot provide advice to individuals. However, UNISON is asking branches to provide support to members who may be affected in the following ways:    

    • Firstly, advise members to contact their Work Coach who can help people with universal credit claims. Members should explain to their work coach that whilst there has been a pay rise that increases basic monthly income, there has also been a one-off back-payment that will not form part of regular monthly income. You can contact your Work Coach online at or call the Universal Credit Helpline on 0800 328 5644.  
    •  Secondly, members may want to ask employers to stagger the implementation of the back-pay. If an individual member specifically asks for this then you can support the member in asking the employer if they would be willing to stagger backpay for that individual to reduce any adverse impact – however employers are under no obligation to do so. It should also be noted that you should not request staggering of backpay for any members who have not requested this. There is no national agreement on staggering back pay.   

    The April 2023 pay rise is money owing to UNISON members and, as such, should be paid to them as promptly as possible in most circumstances.