15/10/13 – The Joint NJC Trade Union Side met this afternoon and unanimously agreed the NJC pay claim for 2014-15. The claim, which will be submitted early next week to the Local Government Employers, will be for:
“ A minimum increase of £1 an hour on scale point 5 to achieve the Living Wage and the same flat rate increase on all other scale points”.
There was welcome unanimity on the Trade Union Side about the need for a joint and high profile campaign which challenges the austerity myth and gives our members confidence to pursue our objectives. It was noted that the Living Wage is currently 2 pence an hour below the official poverty line of £7.47 pence an hour and is a modest wage.
A press release issued by Unison National Office on 16/10/13 reads as follows:
UNISON is launching a major campaign for a minimum increase of £1 per hour for local government workers.
The increase would result in the bottom rate of pay in local government rising to a Living Wage.
The union, that represents more than 600,000 local government workers, is also calling for the same £1 per hour increase to apply to all pay points above the bottom rate.
Heather Wakefield, UNISON’s Head of Local Government, said:
“Politicians from all parties have been talking about the need to end low pay and introduce the Living Wage. This must apply to local government workers, half a million of whom currently earn less than the living wage, and not just to those in the private sector.
“Our claim for a minimum rise of £1 an hour would bring the bottom rate of pay in local government up to the Living Wage and we believe our members deserve no less.
“It is deeply disturbing to hear the stories this week of low paid workers, including social workers and assistant teachers, resorting to food banks. Every local government worker has suffered a 16% drop in earnings since the government’s austerity measures were introduced and that’s why we are calling for the same flat rate increase to be applied to everyone.
“A scandalous 500,000 local government workers are paid below the current Living Wage of £7.45 pence an hour – a rate which will increase in November. Politicians from all parties have recently called for action to deal with low pay and are encouraging individual local authorities to pay the Living Wage.
“More than 75% of the local government workforce are women whose contribution has been consistently undervalued. This pay increase should be part of a new agenda to give our members the recognition they deserve in their pay packets.
“This year our members are saying loud and clear that a 1% increase will not be acceptable and all three unions will be campaigning to get our members what they deserve.”