Local Government, Council and Schools Pay Update, 24 June 2021

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GMB have written to the NJC national employers across local government, councils and schools asking them to join with the trade unions and make a joint approach to the Westminster Government, for more funding for local government pay.

The employers have made an offer of 1.5% for 2021 and have said that it cannot offer more because local authority finances are severely stretched. They have made calls for more funding for local government – and for a more stable long-term financial settlement. As unions we have also been campaigning for this, as we have seen the impact Covid has had on local authority budgets, and consequently on services and our members jobs and pay. ore.

Following the pay offer which falls short of our pay claim we need a much stronger message to government, so we have written to the employers calling specifically for them to join us and call for more funding for local government pay.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, local government and council workers have kept the country going, working above and beyond the call of duty, putting themselves and their families at risk to support the effort against Covid-19. GMB have always known how crucial local government staff are, but the pandemic has raised public awareness of the work our members do. For many, that meant doing their normal jobs in more risky situations – for example social workers visiting homes and refuse collectors working in small cabs. But for others it meant being redeployed – like library workers delivering food parcels. Our members in schools are perhaps the best example: while it was often said that schools were closed during the lockdowns it was school support staff who went into schools to provide education for vulnerable children and the children of key workers, while infection rates were extremely high and before there was any protection from a vaccine.

Set against this context, the Employers’ offer of a 1.5% offer is not enough. The NJC trade unions acknowledge the financial situation faced by councils and schools, and for that reason we have written to employers to propose a joint campaign with employers’ bodies, calling for additional funding from Westminster for local government pay. Full details of the letters can be found on the GMB Local Government Noticeboard!


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For a PDF version of this information, please see here