Laura Sharman 21 July 2020

Chancellor accused of 'selective memory' over council workers' pay

Council staff are the 'forgotten army of public service' and are being denied a 'decent' pay rise, a union said today.

The Government has announced above inflation pay rises 900,000 public sector workers today, with teachers and doctors seeing the largest rise at 3.1% and 2.8% respectively.

While Unite the Union said the pay rise was a 'step in the right direction', council workers were only being offered a pay increase that amounts to £1.83 a day.

Unite national officer for local government, Jim Kennedy, said: 'What the chancellor has announced for 900,000 public sector employees is a step in the right direction and a recognition of the vital role they have played in the fight against coronavirus.

'But the chancellor has a selective memory when it comes to finding cash for local government employers to pay their workers a decent pay rise – they are the forgotten army of public service.

'Council workers – including schools, refuse collection, cemeteries, child protection, and the care of our elderly and vulnerable – have been working throughout the pandemic. They are the glue that keeps services for local communities running on a daily basis through good times and bad.'

The National Employers have offered a 2.75% pay increase for council staff. However, Unite the union is balloting its members to reject the offer, calling it ‘unrealistic and insulting’.

In a nutshell: the 2020-21 local government pay claim

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