Council chiefs have revealed the extent of proposed pay rises for council staff, declaring unions made the ‘right decision’ in postponing strike action.
Unions Unison, GMB and Unite announced yesterday that they would be suspending strike action planned for 14 October in order to consult their members on a new pay proposal put forward by the Local Government Association (LGA).
Next week’s strike would have been the second this year staged by local government and school support staff over wage increases.
The latest pay proposal from the LGA would hand a 2.2% increase to staff on salaries of £14,880 and over – Spinal Column Points (SCPs) 11 and above – and run from 1 January 2015 to 31 March 2016.
Higher percentage increases were proposed for SCPs five to 10, providing a new minimum hourly rate of £7 per hour. This would increase to £7.06 per hour on 1 October 2015 with the deletion of SCP five.
A non-consolidated lump sum payment of between £100 and £325 was also proposed to all SCPs.
Union leaders – who represent over 1.5 million local government and school staff - said the proposal was ‘the best achievable’ in the current pay round but emphasised campaigns to raise pay were likely to continue.
A LGA spokeman said: ‘Unison, GMB and Unite have made the right decision in calling off the strike planned for next week. It is good news for our employees and for the millions who rely on the services which local government provides, and now gives the employers and the unions time to seek views on the proposals.’
Responding to the proposal, Unison’s head of local government, Heather Wakefield, said: ‘These have been tough negotiations, in a tough financial climate for local government and our members. It is right that those members, who are keeping councils and schools going in tough conditions, will now have the chance to make their voice heard by voting on the LGA’s proposals.’
GMB national secretary, Brian Strutton, said: ‘It has proved extremely difficult to persuade the local government employers to agree new pay proposals for us to consult our members on. But now we have an agreed set of new proposals, which we will consult on.’
Unite national officer Fiona Farmer added: ‘This new improved offer would not have been achieved without the resolve of our members who stood together to force the employers back around the negotiating table.
‘We believe the offer is the best achievable in the current pay round, but local government employers and the government must realise that we will continue to campaign against poverty pay in local government.’