Local authority social workers and other care professionals will not receive a pay rise in 2011-12, Local Government Employers has announced.
The employers’ body rejected a pay claim from unions for a pay rise of £250 for all council employees in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, including high earners.
This would have added £265m to the local government pay bill, the association said.
Unison, Unite and GMB, which represent 300,000 of the social care workers affected, accused the employers of stripping council workers’ pay packets down to “minimum wage rates”.
Heather Wakefield, Unison’s head of local government, said: “A toxic cocktail of rising cost of living, cuts to terms and conditions, and now frozen pay means council workers are seeing their money vanish before their eyes.”
A survey by the Office of National Statistics, out today, showed the average worker is £750 worse off due to the rising cost of living.
Peter Allenson, Unite’s officer for local government, said members would be “furious” at the employers’ rejection of the £250 pay claim, while the GMB’s national secretary Brian Strutton said the decision would cause “abject misery”.
But Jan Parkinson, managing director of Local Government Employers, said the decision to freeze pay had not been taken lightly, adding: “Councils are facing extremely tough choices this year and have to ask their whole workforce to recognise the need to limit spending in all areas.”
What do you think? Join the debate on CareSpace
Keep up to date with the latest developments in social care. Sign up to our daily and weekly emails