female UNISON members smiling

UNISON is campaigning for a better deal for school and council workers

UNISON wants pay justice for everyone working in schools and local government.

Their pay has fallen in real terms for many years and we are negotiating and campaigning for a better deal. We are making sure pay stays at the top of our agenda.

We have submitted a pay claim to the employers and now need as many members as possible to join us in winning pay justice.n (LGA’s) pay offer for 2016/18.

NJC Pay – Committee agrees to accept offer

The NJC Committee met today to consider the latest position on NJC pay. The Committee noted that several regions had now reported that they did not feel they could mobilise sufficient sustained industrial action.

In the light of this changed position, the Committee agreed to withdraw the request for a formal industrial action ballot previously submitted to UNISON’s Industrial Action Committee.

In doing so, the Committee recognised that the effect of this is to accept the Local Government Association (LGA’s) pay offer for 2016/18.




UNISON congratulates Merthyr Tydfil council’s wage rise decision

Labour council raises pay for lowest-paid staff to £8.39 per hour

Care workers continue to be denied the minimum wage

MPs praise UNISON’s campaign to support care workers who are ‘illegally’ under paid

Local authority chief officers agree two-year pay deal

Pay settlement includes a commitment to produce guidance on workloads and stress

The truth about the cuts

UNISON members describe how cuts to services are affecting both themselves and the people in their care

female UNISON members smiling

Local government pay consultation begins (England, Wales, NI)

Council and school workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland asked to have their say on pay offer

The issue

School and council workers are losing out

In 2015 school and council workers’ pay is worth 20% less than it was five years ago. This is a result of government pay freezes and pay increases that did not keep up with inflation.

UNISON is campaigning for a better deal for 2016/17

We are asking for:

All school and council workers to be paid at least the Living Wage (£8.25 per hour or £9.40 per hour in London).

A £1 per hour pay rise for all staff already being paid the Living Wage.

Fairer treatment for school support staff. Many school support staff have been moved on to contracts that mean they do not get paid for school holidays, unlike teachers. UNISON is calling for a review into this.

The  protection of terms and conditions. Some conditions such as those around sick pay, annual leave and maternity rights have come under threat in some local authorities. UNISON is campaigning to ensure we retain and protect them (find out more in the FAQs below).

The impact of cuts to jobs, pay and conditions on the workforce

  • Three-quarters of our survey respondents say that that their un-social hours and overtime payments have been cut.
  • 76% said that employers’ expectations have increased in the last 12 months
  • Over 50% said service users’ expectations have risen
  • Two-thirds had been through reviews and re-organisations at work in the past 5 years – mostly due to cost-cutting
  • 46% said reviews are leading to reduced staffing – reorganisation and restructuring is making jobs more difficult and leading to heavier workloads
  • 73% report increased stress levels
  • Two-thirds reported increased workloads and pressure in the last year
  • 32% said reviews are leading to fewer resources
  • 26% said they now had worse ways of working and were providing a worse service to the public as a result

These figures are taken from a recent survey of local government members which had over 1000 respondents.

Hear from UNISON members

‘I have worked in local government for 27 years and have never known it to be so stressful, we have lost over 2,000 members of staff and the work has increased to unacceptable levels, we are expected to do the jobs of 2 or 3 people for the same money as we were being paid years ago.’ Local government worker North West

As a school support worker, I could not support myself on my salary alone, let alone a family. Most of these jobs are done by women. Is this why the pay is so low?’  School support worker South East

‘I am already on a low income and recent cuts and price rises have meant that in real terms my wages have decreased substantially. How can the council pay less than £900 net per month for a 30 hr week – I’m classed as part time. If it wasn’t for working family tax credit and child tax credit I wouldn’t be able to afford a roof over our heads… I am already in debt and am unable to fix the central heating and window in my daughter’s bedroom – leaving it cold, damp and virtually uninhabitable.’  School support worker North West

‘Over the last year our payment has been reduced by 10% due to enhanced pay for Saturday working being removed. This means that all staff who are able, and some are not, have to work an additional 7 hours per month to stay in the same place financially.  Local government worker South West