Local government and employers will meet again next Friday (22 August) after the 2008-9 pay talks resumed this week, Unison has confirmed.
This week’s meeting focused on the timetable and process for talks, while next week the two sides will start discussing substantive issues around pay and other conditions for staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
According to Unison and Unite, 500,000 of their members took strike action over two days last month over employers’ 2.45% offer, but Local Government Employers put the figure at around 100,000.
Offer is half of inflation rate
LGE has repeatedly said that 2.45% is employers’ final offer, though it falls far short of the unions’ claim of 6% and is less than half the retail price index rate of inflation for July (5%), which was announced this week.
However, employers have said they are prepared to discuss other terms and conditions, such as annual and maternity leave.
Following this week’s news on inflation, Unison general secretary Dave Prentis renewed his attack on the government’s efforts to keep public sector pay rises down to 2%. He said: “The government’s unjust public sector pay policy means that teaching assistants, nurses, librarians, care workers, home carers, nursery staff and hospital cleaners are having to cope with the biggest rise in inflation since records began, on a real pay cut.”
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