Workers should get a wage increase of at least 10%
Three local government unions have today (Monday) submitted a pay claim for 2021/22, which they say begins to redress a decade of cuts and recognises the key role played in the pandemic by school and council staff.
They want to see a ‘substantial’ pay increase from this April with a wage rise of at least 10% for all council and school support employees in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Under the claim, the pay of the lowest paid workers would go above £10 per hour – lifting them above the real living wage of £9.50 per hour (outside London).
UNISON, GMB and Unite – which between them represent 1.4 million council and school employees – say only a significant pay award can begin to tackle ten years of savage local authority cuts and pay restraint. Staff working in local government have seen up to 25% wiped from the value of their pay, the unions say.
Council employees include refuse collectors, library staff, teaching assistants and care employees – key workers who help communities to function, say the three unions.
The Covid crisis has been a reminder that local authorities are vital to the communities they serve, especially during the past hugely challenging year. Staff deserve better pay and working conditions, the unions say.
UNISON head of local government Jon Richards said: “Local government workers have kept the country going during the Covid crisis.
“Many face daily risks to do their vital work and keep communities safe. But slipping wages and job insecurity have hit morale.
“Paying staff properly and investing in the workforce would recognise those at the sharp end who’ve given everything. It will benefit local economies and give workers a boost as they keep delivering important services into the future.”