Unison and GMB to consult members over action after 2.45% offer

Unison and GMB will consult local government workers on whether they would be prepared to take strike action over pay, after employers produced a “final offer” of 2.45% yesterday.

The slightly improved pay offer for around a million staff in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, up from an initial 2.2%, was put to the unions yesterday. The initial offer was rejected by Unison, GMB and Unite, and the unions have said the new offer is “hugely disappointing”.

The GMB will put the revised pay offer to a national conference of stewards on 24 April to determine how the union should respond, and will then consult its members to see if they want to accept the offer or take strike action.

Unison will formally consider its response to the new offer next week, but national secretary Heather Wakefield said it would leave the lowest paid council staff on lower rates than supermarket workers.

The unions submitted a claim in January for a pay rise of 6%, which they said would help to make up for years of below-inflation pay rises. The revised offer is stil below the government’s consumer price index measure of inflation, running at 2.5%, and well below the broader retail price index of 4.1%.

However, Brian Baldwin, chair of the employers’ side in the negotiations, said this was their final offer, and repeated warnings that too great an increase in pay would leave authorities with a choice between cutting services or jobs.

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