Jason Perry, Croydon’s part-time Mayor, has another budget pressure to deal with, as the cost-of-living crisis created by the mismanagement of the economy by his chums in the Conservative government has seen the biggest pay rise in more than a decade agreed for local government workers. And there might yet be more to come…
The Local Government Association has made an offer to the trades unions who represent hundreds of thousands of workers across the country – Unison alone has 350,000 members working for councils – to pay an extra £1,925 this year, equating to a 10.5per cent increase for the lowest-paid workers.
Unison, GMB and Unite make up the trade union side of the national joint council that negotiates pay for the majority of local government workers. After consulting their members over the last two months, the unions met yesterday and agreed to accept the LGA offer.
The pay deal will be backdated to April 1, 2022, and averages out to around 7per cent across the pay grades; those least-well paid will receive a 10.5per cent increase with those at the top just over 4per cent.
It also includes a 4per cent increase to allowances, backdated to April 1, with a one-day increase to the annual leave of all employees coming into effect on April 1, 2023, and the removal of the bottom pay-point on the same date.
According to Unison, after a decade of below-inflation pay offers and pay freezes, many of their members have lost around 25per cent from the value of their pay since 2010.
While this latest offer almost meets the government’s target of the minimum wage hitting two-thirds of median earning by 2024 (estimated to be around £10.70 per hour), it means the bottom three points on the pay scale will still fall below the Foundation Living Wage rate of £10.90 per hour.
“Unison members voted clearly to accept this pay offer, and it will come as a welcome relief to many of our members – particularly those who are lower-paid – that it has been agreed before the holiday period,” said Mike Short, Unison’s national secretary for local government.
“Our immediate priority, now, is to get the money into the pay packets of workers as soon as possible, to help deal with the rapidly rising cost of living and move into the next pay round.
“We know there is much more to do, as this pay settlement is still below inflation and we will be looking to submit a pay claim for 2023 as soon as practically possible, so the employers have no excuse for delaying making an offer next year.
“We will be expecting that offer to meet our members’ needs and address the massive pressure they are facing due to the rate of inflation.”
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