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Overwhelming backing for 2% pay offer from GMB's members

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Members of the GMB union have voted overwhelmingly to accept the 2% pay offer for most council staff.

The union, which did not make a recommendation to members on the offer, announced on Friday that 94% of those who took part in the ballot backed the proposal made in December by the National Employers, who negotiate pay on behalf of the majority of councils in England.

Unison, which has the largest membership among council staff, is due to announce the result of its consultation this Friday, after its national pay committee voted narrowly in January to recommend members reject the 2% offer.

Unite is also currently holding a consultative ballot of members after the union’s leaders rejected the offer.

The GMB leadership is yet to comment on the outcome of the ballot but an email was sent to members thanking them for taking part.  

The pay offer would mean the majority of staff, which is those earning an annual salary of £19,430 or more, would receive a 2% pay rise from April 2018 and a further 2% rise in April 2019.

It also includes the introduction of a new national pay spine on 1 April 2019.

The Local Government Association said the offer will result in an increase to the national pay bill of 5.6% over two years, once the new national living wage is factored in.

In June unions submitted a request for a 5% pay increase for all council staff in 2018-19, which would add an extra £559m to the sector’s wage bill if met in full.

Conservative members of negotiating body National Employers in December voted against breaking the current 1% pay cap but the 2% offer backed by Labour and an independent was approved by the casting vote of the chair, Luton BC deputy leader Sian Timoney (Lab).

Tory members warned at the time that the 2% pay offer to most staff could force further cuts to jobs and services.

LGC research found most councils had not factored a proposed 2% pay increase for the majority of staff into their budgets for next year, with many reporting the implementation of a new wage structure will place significant pressure on their finances.

A decision by the National Employers on a 2% pay claim made by Association of Local Authority Chief Executives & Senior Managers (Alace) in January was delayed pending the outcome of the unions’ consultations.


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Readers' comments (1)

  • i am sure the figure for the cost of the two year deal is understated, it does not include the impact on the pension scheme deficit or the value of incremental drift which is about 1% on the pay bill a year. the rise is therefore around 7% on the pay cost to council's. This is good news for staff as it ends years of below inflation awards cutting the real value of wages. However, it is totally unfunded in the national settlement and will drive some council's to the wall financially and lead to cuts in services and job losses.
    Why does the LGA not ballot councils on a range of options and weight their response against their relative staff numbers. Why is a decision like this taken by a chairs casting vote rather than a simple direct consultation with Councils who are part of the national scheme.

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