Trade unions have welcomed an improved pay offer from the Local Government Employers but are disappointed that it still remains below inflation.
The NJC Committee welcomed the offer which sets out a 3.4% increase for the lowest paid employees and a 2.475% rise for all other employees.
This will see the lowest paid employees – which are predominately cleaners – receive £6 per hour for the first time.
But after six months of negotiations, the offer still falls short of the 5% increase that Unison, GMB and TGWU-UNITE called for their members.
Heather Wakefield, Unison national secretary for local government, said: “This is a welcome breakthrough for the lowest paid and only came about as a result of very tough negotiations. We recognise that local government bosses have surpassed the national government’s own stated pay limit of 2% and unions will now meet to consider this improvement.
“But of course, it still means our members are being offered a pay rise below inflation,” she added.
A spokesperson for the LGE said: “We made an offer which is fair to staff and affordable to the council payer. And we are hopeful that the trade unions will recognise that.”
The NJC Committee will meet on 4 September to discuss their response to the offer and decide whether to hold a ballot on industrial action.
On 20 March, the LGE offered the NJC Executive a pay limit of 2% which 81% of members rejected. Plans were in place to approve a ballot of members across England, Wales and Northern Ireland on industrial action.