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NJC Consultative Ballot

March 22, 2018


Dear Colleagues

This is to inform you that following a consultative ballot of our members employed under the National Joint Council for Local Government Services, Unite members have rejected the employers pay and allowance offer for 2018/19.

Unite members voted by 75% to reject the offer; they consider the offer fails to recognise and respect the dedication our members give in the delivery of essential services, often in the most difficult of circumstances.

Local authority pay increases have been below inflation since November 2009. That is over 8 years of real pay cuts. If the pay points had been increased in line with inflation then pay would be 21% higher this year, 2018. Our members have been crystal clear that the 2% + 2% offer for most staff does not remotely start to remedy the short fall in workers’ pay.

However, the ballot result although giving a resounding rejection, did not give an overriding mandate to progress to a ballot for industrial action.

Following a special NISC held on 21st March 2018 it was agreed that the NISC due to be held on 9th/10th April will discuss next steps and develop a strategy for a continuous member facing campaign that will include but not be limited to pay, conditions, funding and organising.

Below are the points that we will outline to the employers in correspondence.

Unite; make the following points:

That the local government employers should recognise they are in breach of ILO convention -  Labour Relations (Public Service) Convention, 1978 (No.15) that states ‘The convention promotes collective bargaining for public employees, as well as other methods allowing public employees’ representatives to participate in the determination of their conditions of employment. It also provides that disputes shall be settled through negotiation between the parties or through independent and impartial machinery, such as mediation, conciliation and arbitration…’

The presentation of a first and final offer by the local government employers without recourse to further consider or discuss any issue relating to that offer fails to meet the criteria of the ILO Convention.

Therefore meaningful pay talks should commence with the aim of delivering a real terms pay increase for hard working dedicated employees.

That Unite remind local government employers that May 3rd elections are likely to deliver a change in the make-up of the LGA; and that we fully expect a shift in direction from a position that does not allow participation in the determination of our members pay and conditions to the development of constructive dialogue that achieves a fully inclusive collective bargaining process.

With this pay offer local government workers will remain the poor relations of the public sector; and that the absence of a funded pay increase will see a further deterioration of our member’s terms and conditions and the services councils are able to deliver. Our members have seen other areas of the public sector secure funded pay increases and note with concern the failure of local government employers to convince government to centrally fund pay.

In finality Unite will not be signing nor be party to the joint circular on pay and will of course resist any attempt to use this pay offer as an excuse to attack local terms and conditions.


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