Save jobs and services – and accept a smaller pay rise

Phil White, head of the Local Government Employers negotiation team, makes the case for the 2 per cent pay offer “Last week, the Local Government Employers submitted an offer of a 2 per cent pay rise for employees for the next financial year – in line with inflation targets.

There is a balance to be struck. People who are on the front line dealing with some of the most vulnerable in society deserve to be paid for the tireless, hard work that they do. However, we must also bear in mind that in the Budget last week the government made clear that the amount of money being ploughed into public services is being reduced dramatically in the coming three years.

It must be borne in mind that if the pay settlement is set too high then local authorities will have to make unpleasant choices between cutting front-line services and laying off staff, neither of which either the unions or the employers want to see.

The key aspect of this offer is to make sure that any pay settlement is affordable to the taxpayer and councils while at the same time making sure that local government continues to be an attractive place to work in.

The employers’ side will take a firm, but fair, line with the trade unions and argue that the government has set a framework for public sector expenditure in the next few years which must be fully reflected in ensuring that pay does not rise above what is affordable and acceptable to local people.

The LGE has agreed to further negotiations with the unions and will strive to ensure that a fair deal is reached for both employees and the taxpayer.”

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