Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
Unions and employers were yesterday due to discuss moves to begin the eradication of low pay in local government, a...
Unions and employers were yesterday due to discuss moves to begin the eradication of low pay in local government, as part of this year's pay settlement.

The GMB wants more than £4 an hour for the 350,000 local government workers currently paid below this level.

Unison's claim for a £1,000 increase across the board would bring the lowest scale point to just less than £4 an hour.

On the table is a proposal to address low pay and merge the manual and white-collar pay scales. If both sides agree, scales could be merged in 1997, after a comprehensive job evaluation.

This would delay the cost, which CIPFA estimates could be as much as £492 million, or 4% on the £12.3 billion local government pay bill.

An agreement on scales as part of the pay deal would mean a change in union policy, which has to date been to keep negotiations on single status and pay separate.

Unions do not want the cost of single status to limit wage increases.

Employers' representatives were told in consultation with councils on this year's settlement that a pay-scale merger was acceptable if it was costed in the pay settlement.

Employers' secretary Charles Nolda said changes to scales was one of a number of options due to be considered this week. 'The situation is far too complex and far to sensitive to comment on,' he added.

It is understood there are three options: a simple percentage increase; a percentage increase with a lump sum; and a percentage with merged scales.

CIPFA chief economist Chris Trinder said merging the scales was attractive to employers because 'rather than upping the overall figure they might want to do a deal on the low paid'.

T&GW national secretary Jack Dromey warned there would be a 'pay explosion if this year once again the cost of living outstrips pay'.

-- The teachers' pay award, announced last week, is worth 3% in 1996-97. Their overall pay increase is 3.75% - £395m. It will be staggered, with 2.75% from April and 1% from December.

Labour has published figures showing 74 of 119 councils it surveyed will be worse off than last year because of the teachers' pay award.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.