Local government employers have described the
unions’ pay claim for 2002-3 as “completely unrealistic”.
At last month’s national joint council meeting
the unions put forward a claim for a pay increase of £1,750
per year or 6 per cent, whichever is greater, but the Employers’
Organisation for Local Government said “no council could afford
this exorbitant claim”.
National joint council meeting chairperson for
the employers’ side, councillor Brian Baldwin, said that accepting
the claim would mean thousands of redundancies and, by
concentrating on the lower paid end of the scale, it would not
address recruitment problems at the middle and top end of the pay
“By making such a claim it would seem at first
glance that the unions do not want to see a negotiated settlement
this year,” he added.
After protracted negotiations, the current
year’s local government pay increase was agreed last June at 3.5
per cent or £380 per year, whichever was greater.
– Last month nurses received a 3.6 per cent
pay increase for 2002-3. “Nurses will feel sorely let down,” said
Royal College of Nursing general secretary Beverly Malone.