UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A pay ‘proposal’ so bad it’s unbelievable

#njcpay2014 UNISON has called on the employers side of the local government National Joint Council (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) to reconsider their current pay proposals and come forward with ‘improved ones which begin to tackle the hardship facing all of our members.’

The new proposals for NJC pay in England, Wales and Northern Ireland touted out by the Local Government Association (LGA) show that local government employers are now inured to the suffering they have inflicted on their employees by overseeing an open ended policy of reducing real term pay year on year. Only that would explain how anybody could think a proposal which raises NJC pay points by just 2.2% over two full years is ‘new’ or ‘different’ to an existing offer (and government pay policy) that would produce a cumulative 2.01% rise over the same period. A period when headline inflation is forecast to be at 4%. Unbelievably, for one third of NJC workers the revised proposal will mean LESS this year than the 1% offer already rejected in a membership ballot and against which members took strike action on 10 July.

Most people know when they are being sold a dead pup and serious trade unionists should not engage in deceptions of their own membership. That’s why UNISON’s NJC Committee was absolutely correct in rejecting outright this attempted sleight of hand by the LGA. And rejecting it on the detail of the ‘proposal’ itself and not just on the technicality of when is an offer an offer. Any other response would create a sense of giving some credibility, intended or not, to an act of deception by the LGA - the employers body which in successive years denied hundreds of thousands of our members the £250 mandated by the Con Dem’s, which (as of today) has allowed the bottom point of the NJC pay spine to fall below the statutory minimum wage and which, in the world’s 6th largest economy, is sending our members to the food banks.