Local authority staff are ready for a “serious punch-up” over pay, trade union leaders warned today.
Launching a claim for a 5 per cent pay increase for 2007-8, public sector unions Unison, TGWU and GMB said their members were angry after the local government pensions dispute and a series of below-inflation rises in recent years.
But GMB local government national secretary Brian Strutton said the claim was the “most sensible and reasonable claim that anyone can remember”. He added that the £1.5bn cost would be affordable because council staff had made £3bn efficiency savings in the past three years.
He said the 2 per cent ceiling on public sector pay deals recommended by the Treasury was “out of touch”, given that inflation was running at 4.2 per cent.
However, Brian Baldwin, chair of the Local Government Employers negotiating team, warned: “It must be borne in mind that if the pay settlement is set too high then local authorities will have to make unpleasant choices between cutting front line services and laying off staff, neither of which either the unions or the employers want to see.”
More information: Local government workers strike over pensions