Unions demand pay rise for council staff next year

The three-year pay freeze has seen local government wages driven down by 13% in real terms, according to Unite, Unison and GMB.

Public sector unions have demanded a “substantial increase” in pay for social care staff and other local government workers in 2013-14.

The current pay freeze has gone on long enough, warned Unite, Unison and GMB as they submitted their pay claim to the National Joint Council for Local Government Services (NJC) this week.

Around 1.6 million local government workers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland saw their salary levels frozen in 2012-13 for the third consecutive year.

“This three-year pay freeze has been unique to the public sector, and has seen wages in real terms driven down by 13%, while the cost of living soars,” said Heather Wakefield, Unison’s head of local government. “This situation should not be acceptable by anyone’s standards, and it certainly is unacceptable by ours.
“Our long-term aim is to see a living wage, on which families can live, not just exist, as the minimum standard for local government wages.”

The aim of the pay claim is to restore pay levels, bringing them in line with inflation and the cost of living, with a view to achieving a living wage as the baseline for NJC wages, the unions said.

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