Council social workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland could receive a 1% pay rise back dated to 1 April 2013, if unions accept an offer put forward by employers today.
Sian Timoney, who chaired the local government employers’ side of the pay negotiations, said it was the “best offer possible” in light of the cuts to council funding.
“Councils have been consistently clear that our hardworking employees should receive a pay offer this year,” she said. “[This offer] is fair to taxpayers and fair to our employees and recognises the financial pressures they are under.”
Unions have reacted cautiously to the first national pay offer since 2009.
Heather Wakefield, head of local government for Unison, said: “Local government workers have seen a 16% decline in the value of their pay in the last three years, coupled with significant local attacks on terms and conditions.
“Unison’s local government committee will be mindful of this when we consider this improved offer.”
Employers had originally proposed two options for 2013-14: a 1% pay increase for staff, but only if the national employment terms and conditions set out in the Green Book were changed, or a 1% pay increase only for those in the six lowest pay grades and 0.6% for anyone on a higher salary.
Timoney said she was “very disappointed” that union officials had refused to consider changes to terms and conditions for staff.
“There have been no significant changes to terms and conditions since 1997,” she said. “Local government needs a modern and reformed employment framework for the future and this will remain a priority objective for the sector.”