Target:
UK Prime Minister and Local Government Association
Region:
United Kingdom
Website:
www.unison.org.uk

1.5 million people work in local government providing the essential public services we all rely on, often to the most vulnerable people in our society. They include school crossing patrol staff, catering assistants, cleaners, nursery nurses, library assistants and teaching assistants, as well as care workers and social care staff and pupil support workers - to name a few.

Since 2009, the workforce have suffered a three year pay freeze and a well-below inflation pay rise of just 1% last year. Those on the lowest pay levels earn just above the National Minimum Wage - poverty pay for responsible jobs that require skill and responsiblity.

The three trade unions who represent these workers, UNISON, the GMB and Unite, submitted a pay claim for a minimum increase of £1 an hour for local government and schools support workers back in October 2013. The Local Government Association Employers have made a measly offer of 1% for 90% of the workforce and a little more for those on the lowest pay points. The offer would mean that the lowest paid would be only 25p above the minimum wage.

Since 2010, local government workers and school support staff have seen the value of their pay drop by 18%. Many rely on benefits and tax credits to make ends meet. This doesn't need to be the case if they were paid a decent wage for the important work they do.


We the undersigned bellieve that our council and school support workers do a great job providing services for our local community and educating our children. Despite this, they are the lowest paid workers in the public sector.

We believe that they should be paid properly for the important work they do - and not less than the Living Wage. However, we note with great concern that their pay has fallen by 18% since 2010 and many councils and schools have cut hours, pay and conditions further reducing their take-home pay and pensions. The employers' 1% pay offer would mean a further pay cut of almost 2%.

The claim submitted by UNISON, GMB and Unite for at least £1 an hour for all council and school support workers is a reasonable one which we support. The extra pay would be spent in our economy and 55% of the cost of the claim would be saved through increased tax and National Insurance and reduced spending on benefits.

We call on the employers to make a decent pay offer to local council and school support workers, with the lowest pay rate to be no less than the Living Wage. We call on the coalition government to make funding available for the pay claim and to stop council cuts.

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