The three unions which represent more than 1.5 million workers in local government and schools – UNISON, GMB and UNITE – have decided to suspend strike action planned for 14 October and consult their members on new proposals put forward by the Local Government Association as the best achievable by negotiation.
The proposals cover the period from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2016.
In doing so, all three unions have made it clear that they want to strengthen the collective bargaining machinery covering local government and schools and move quickly to jointly tackle important issues facing their members with the Local Government Association. Members covered by the National Joint Council for Local Government have the lowest pay in the public sector and have suffered significant attacks on their conditions of work in recent years.
The unions will now move forward together to consult their members.
UNISON Head of Local Government, Heather Wakefield said:
“These have been tough negotiations, in a tough financial climate for local government and our members. It is right that those members – who are keeping councils and schools going in tough conditions – will now have the chance to make their voice heard by voting on the LGA’s proposals.”
The consultation will begin on Monday 20 October. In line with the consultation procedures agreed by the union’s local government conference, UNISON branches are being asked to carry out local ballots of all members whose pay is determined by the NJC, including those who were not included in the ballot for industrial action.
The joint union and management secretaries of the national joint council local government services (the NJC) will meet on Monday (13 October) to agree pay calculations for consultation.
UNISON will make detailed information on their implications for members available after the meeting.
In the meantime, an outline of the proposals for 2014-16 is available for members here.