Unison has urged council employers in England and Wales to ensure the 2009-10 pay rise does not fall below 2.3%.
The figure has been based on other pay settlements already agreed in the public sector. Unison head of local government Heather Wakefield said: “We wouldn’t expect anything less than the lowest public sector increase agreed for 2009/10, which has been 2.3% for probation staff. That’s not our final claim, however, we would hope for more.”
Other public sector settlements include a 3.2% rise for further education staff and 2.75% for NHS employees. Council staff in Scotland will receive 2.5%.
Unison is also currently asking their branches across the country to find out what councils have budgeted for next year’s pay increases but have only heard from a minority so far.
An arbitration hearing was held at Acas on 10 February to settle the ongoing dispute between Unison, along with fellow unions GMB and Unite, and Local Government Employers over the 2.45% pay offer for 2008/09. A final, binding ruling from Acas is expected soon.
A LGE spokesperson said: “We will have to wait until the arbitration panel decides on this before considering next year’s pay claim. The amount the arbitrators decide on will obviously effect how much money we have in the kitty next year.”