The craftworker members of UCATT and Unite have a different employment rulebook to the rest of local government’s 1.3 million workforce and settled for Local Government Employers’ (LGE) original offer of 2.45% last year.
Both unions reacted furiously to being told that if they wanted the additional 0.3% rise imposed by arbitration service ACAS for the rest of the sector, they would have to surrender their unique terms and conditions 'Red Book'.
Alan Ritchie, general secretary of construction union UCATT, said giving up their terms and conditions in return for a rise worth around 50p a week was an insult.
“Every time a council has merged the Red Book agreement with the Green Book, skilled craft workers have lost out and have experienced pay cuts in the long term,” he said.
Unite national officer John Allott accused LGE of “exploiting the current economic climate” to avoid properly paying skilled staff.
“The national craft agreement is the only local government national agreement that recognises our members skills and abilities,” he said.