2014 to 2015 NJC local government pay claim presented to the employers

2014 to 2015 NJC local government pay claim presented to the employers

As branches may know the national joint council (NJC) trade union side - the negotiators for local government pay - has submitted the following claim for a pay increase for our members in 2014-15:

A minimum increase of £1 an hour on scale point 5 to achieve the living wage and the same flat rate increase on all other scale points.

At the NJC executive meeting held on 5 November UNISON, GMB and Unite presented the written claim.

Here is the link to the claim

Keep reading to find out some of the key arguments made in the claim and made to the employers at the meeting.
Local government (NJC) pay

    Over one million NJC workers (two-thirds of the total) earn less than £21,000 a year and 472,000 earn less than the living wage outside London.
    Local government pay (NJC) is the lowest in the public sector - from top to bottom of the pay spine.

Pay freeze kills earnings since 2010

    If pay had just kept up with inflation since 2010, those earning £6.45 an hour on the bottom scale point 5 would now be earning £7.53 - above the living wage outside London.
    If the national minimum wage increases as ministers would like, it will be 49p - 62p above the bottom NJC rate of £6.45.
    NJC workers' pay was frozen in 2010, 2011 and 2012 - one year before other public sector workers.

Benefit cuts hit the lowest paid NJC workers

    Even if the majority of NJC workers on in-work benefits were being paid the living wage in 2013, they would still be worse off than in 2010 because of benefit cuts.

Cuts to pay-related conditions hit pay packets hard too.

    Over 60% of councils have cut car allowances and many of our members are subsidising travel for work purposes.
    Many councils have cut unsocial hours and overtime payments - hitting the lowest paid hard.
    At the same time, many are imposing car park charges, closing workplace canteens and refusing to pay the increase in professional registration fees.
    Some councils have also cut sick pay, basic pay and redundancy pay.
    Others have imposed unpaid holidays or cut annual leave.

Part-time workers subsidise their employers

    60% of part-time workers work unpaid overtime each week.
    60% of them work half a day or more each week unpaid to get the job done.

£1 an hour for all is affordable and good for the economy

    Increased tax and national insurance revenue from meeting our claim could be recycled from the Treasury to local government to pay for the £1 an hour pay increase.
    Council reserves have increased by 20% since 2010-11 while NJC workers' pay has fallen by 18%.
    Councils chose to 'bank' £2.6 billion in the last year. That would pay for a 10% pay increase for local government workers.
    Local government workers spend 50p of every £1 they earn in their local economies. A £1 an hour increase would boost the economy across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
    Every £1 of public spending generates 90p to £1.70 of wealth according to the IMF (2012).

Inflation to stay high and hit the low paid hardest

    Inflation is predicted to remain at 3% during 2014 and increase to 3.4% in 2017. A pay award below 3% will be a further pay cut for our members.
    Average gas and electricity prices are due to rise by 8.2% over the coming year.
    NJC workers earning less than £15,000 would have to spend a whole year's pay on full-time childcare for one child.
    Inflation hits the lowest paid hardest: increases in the cost of essential household items mean inflation of 41% for the lowest paid but 31% for the top 10%.

Gear up for the pay campaign!

The employers responded by saying that they will now start their consultation exercise on the pay claim. They will be holding regional meetings and seeking councils' responses by 31 January 2014.

It is crucial we maximise political pressure on the employers during this period. The first stage of our campaign is to build awareness of the NJC pay claim at local level with members and councillors.

A campaign plan for branches to develop at local level will be sent to you next week. A range of materials are in production to be available for branches mid November onwards. These include:

    members leaflet;
    recruitment leaflet;
    stewards' briefing;
    councillor letter and lobbying information;
    PowerPoint presentation;
    newsletter template;
    a postcard for members to send to the LGA / Welsh LGA.

We welcome any comments or ideas from branches about how to build the campaign. Please email us at NJCPay2014@unison.co.uk or post your comments on our facebook page


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