Unions call for more pay, not tax credits

There should be a local government minimum wage of £6.50 an
hour to allow workers to earn a “living wage” without dependence on
tax credits, trade unions urged last week.

The money saved from tax credits should be channelled into
workforce training and development in local government, the unions’
National Joint Council states in its joint submission to the Local
Government Pay Commission.

“We believe that local government pay needs a thorough overhaul,
with a new national strategy that ensures that national agreements
are implemented locally in a way that ensures consistency and
equity,” the submission states.

Local government workers and local councils are key to delivering
the government’s improvement agenda, the unions say, and should
therefore be recognised and rewarded for the essential role they

At the same time, the recruitment and retention of front-line staff
requires “urgent and specific attention” and a co-ordinated
response by local and central government.

The Office for National Statistics should initiate a system for
monitoring vacancy rates, turnover, use of agency and temporary
staff, and recruitment and retention problems at the earliest
opportunity, the unions suggest.

Urgent action on equal pay is needed and there should be a
centrally driven approach to pay and grading reviews.

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