Care workers, refuse collectors, social workers, teaching assistants, community workers, street cleaners and so many others 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 2024

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

Despite providing some of the most vital services in our communities, council and school staff have seen 25% wiped from the value of their pay since 2010. Staff are continuing to struggle with the cost-of-living crisis and will find better-paid, less-stressful work elsewhere if their pay continues to lose its value.

As part of the 2024 pay claim, we are asking for all council employees to receive a wage increase of £3,000 or 10%, whichever is the greater. This is the only way to maintain the staff levels necessary to deliver services to the public, looking after the most vulnerable, giving children the education they need and keeping neighbourhoods safe.

You can read the full pay claim by clicking the button below:

Read the 2024 pay claim

Get involved

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

You can find downloadable resources, including leaflets and posters that can be shared in your workplace, in the UNISON Shop:

Visit the UNISON Shop

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


Share our branded graphics and videos on your channels – make sure to use the hashtag #BetterPay2024 – you can access them via our online resource library:

Download digital graphics

Building support for the pay campaign

As well as building support for the pay claim with your colleagues it is important to build political support for a fair pay rise with decision makers in local government.

There are three things you can do to develop support for this year’s pay increase:

  1. Email your councillor and ask your friends and family to do the same.
  2. Ask your councillors to agree a motion in support of a decent pay rise for council and school workers.
  3. Email your MP using our funding cuts map. There’s a pre-written message on local government funding and you can add in your message on why a properly funded pay rise is so important for school and council workers.

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

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A significant pay rise is essential for local government and school staff, say unions

Claim calls for a wage rise of £3,000 or 10%, whichever is higher

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