Here are full details of the 2016/18 NJC pay offer, what Unison thinks about it and how you can have your say.
The Local Government Association, the council employers’ negotiating body that takes part in the National Joint Council (NJC), tabled a supposedly final offer on pay for 2016-18 in December. UNISON, along with the other two recognised trade unions, is now consulting on the offer with a clear recommendation from both our NJC committee and from Camden’s branch officers to REJECT it and to prepare for industrial action.
Here are some of the reasons why:
• The real value of pay, taking account of inflation, has fallen by as much as 20% for the majority of local government workers since 2009
• Years of harsh pay restraint have not saved jobs – Camden’s workforce has already shrunk by over 15% since 2010 and hundreds of thousands of council jobs have gone nationally
• For most Camden UNISON members the employers’ offer amounts to 1% this year and next. This is roughly the current rate of inflation according to the Retail Price Index, but doesn’t reflect the acute cost of living pressures faced by workers in Greater London
• For those in the Local Government Pension Scheme – and that’s most of us – the historic National Insurance rebate ends from 6 April. This change means that whole of the increase will be wiped out this year for a majority of the workforce
• The current proposal does offer higher increases to the lowest paid, but this largely reflects the need to boost pay for tens of thousands above the grossly inadequate level of George Osborne’s National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour.
Of course, saying ‘no’ to a lousy offer is not enough and so branch officers are also urging you to vote ‘yes’ to all three questions on the consultative ballot about industrial action. If we are to win meaningful concessions from the council employers and ultimately the Tory government strike action will be necessary. The alternative is simply more erosion of our real wages as well as still more job losses.
Some members will be doubtful about the prospects for action after the unsuccessful 2014 campaign, but for all its arrogance the current government has a slender majority and the junior doctors currently have substantial public support in the current fight over new contracts. In addition and in sharp contrast to the past, there is a Labour Party leadership in Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell that is actually sympathetic to public sector workers and their unions.
Finally, please use your vote in this consultation. Poor turnouts in union ballots undermine our credibility and serve only to encourage the Tories.
HOW TO HAVE YOUR SAY
We will be consulting our members whose email addresses we hold. So please do check your email and make sure you vote.
If you did not receive an electronic ballot then it means we don’t have your email address or you have opted out of ballotbin emails, so do please contact Paul England (Paul.England@Camden.gov.uk) at the branch office urgently we can make sure you get to vote.
INDUSTRIAL ACTION DESCRIPTIONS
• All out strike action – all members taking strike action at the same time
• Selective strike action – tactical groups of workers in key services taking strike action at specific times e.g. cleaners, refuse & cleansing, car park attendants, coroners
• Action short of strike – a refusal to perform full normal duties and ‘working to rule’ i.e. working exactly to contractual conditions and ceasing to perform non-contractual tasks that rely solely on goodwill such as overtime, flexible working, cover for vacancies, withdrawal of own vehicle for business use etc.
THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYERS PAY OFFER 2016/18
For the vast majority of staff, the pay offer is: 1% from 1 April 2016 and 1% from 1 April 2017.
For the lowest points on the pay scale there will be the following increases:
From 1 April 2016:
• On SCP 6, £900 (equivalent to 6.6%)
• On SCP 7, £900 (equivalent to 6.6%)
• On SCP 8, £900 (equivalent to 6.5%)
• On SCP 9, £900 (equivalent to 6.4%)
• On SCP 10, £900 (equivalent to 6.3%)
• On SCP 11, £300 (equivalent to 2.0%)
• On SCP 12, £300 (equivalent to 2.0%)
• On SCP 13, £250 (equivalent to 1.6%)
• On SCP 14, £250 (equivalent to 1.5%)
• On SCP 15, £200 (equivalent to 1.2%)
• On SCP 16, £200 (equivalent to 1.2%)
• On SCP 17, £175 (equivalent to 1.01%)
• On SCPs 18 and above, 1.0%
And from 1 April 2017
• On SCP 6, £500 (equivalent to 3.4%)
• On SCP 7, £500 (equivalent to 3.4%)
• On SCP 8, £475 (equivalent to 3.2%)
• On SCP 9, £400 (equivalent to 2.6%)
• On SCP 10, £375 (equivalent to 2.5%)
• On SCP 11, £300 (equivalent to 1.9%)
• On SCP 12, £300 (equivalent to 1.9%)
• On SCP 13, £300 (equivalent to 1.9%)
• On SCP 14, £300 (equivalent to 1.8%)
• On SCP 15, £300 (equivalent to 1.8%)
• On SCP 16, £250 (equivalent to 1.5%)
• On SCP 17, £225 (equivalent to 1.3%)
• On SCPs 18 and above, 1.0%