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History of the NJC LGS Pay Negotiations for 2016 - 18

22 August

Part of the 2016/18 pay deal included a commitment to review the NJC Pay Spine. The terms of reference for this review have now been agreed between the employers and staff side trade unions. A copy of the joint circular can be found here PDF 281Kb.

14 April

The National Employers have issued a update on the current position in light of Unison's bulletin. This circular PDF 270Kb includes some suggested wording for communications to employees.

6 April

Following a meeting between Unison, Unite and GMB, a bulletin PDF 79Kb has been issued by Unison regarding the Trade Union position regarding the pay negotiations. Please note that GMB members have voted to accept the two year offer proposed by the National Employers.

1 April

The National Employers met and have issued a circular PDF 170Kb providing an update on the current position.

(updated 19 April 2016)

21 March

UNISON have released a bulletin PDF 84Kb setting out their position following the full trade union meeting on 18 March. It indicates that UNISON and Unite are pressing for the Employers side to offer a one year deal which includes more certain and firmer timetables for the proposed joint reviews of term time working and restructuring of the Green Book pay spines, to be completed within a year.

In case there may be any confusion about the Employer’s position from the content of Unison’s bulletin, it would be helpful for you to be aware of the position of the Employers – which is as follows:

The meeting of the National Employers on 1 April was arranged before the outcomes of the three unions’ pay ballots were known. In other words, the Employers’ meeting has not been convened in order to “consider [UNISON and Unite’s] call for a revised offer”.

At a meeting of the National Joint Secretaries on 9 March and in telephone conversations and email exchanges since then, the Employers have made it very clear to the unions that any counter-proposal must be tabled formally by the full Trade Union Side – and that any such counter-proposal would only be considered by the National Employers if the cash element of the final offer made on 9 December was unchanged.

18 March

At the full trade union meeting, agreement between the three unions could not be reached. The GMB released a bulletin PDF 230Kb confirming its position.

15 March

GMB members have voted to accept the Employers’ pay offer “with a big majority in favour”. The full trade union side meeting is this Friday 18 March to decide next steps.

The full Employers side meeting is scheduled for Friday 1 April.

(Updated 23rd March 2016)

26 February

Unite have confirmed that their members have rejected the pay offer 'by a majority of 87%'.

25 February

UNISON has issued a newsletter PDF 79Kb to its branches to inform them that the Employers’ pay offer has been rejected by 64% to 36%. The National Employers are disappointed that UNISON has today announced that its members have rejected the final pay offer. However, we shall await the results of GMB’s and Unite’s pay consultations, which are due in the next few weeks, before commenting further.

(Updated 26th February 2016)

29 January

The National Living Wage Regulations have now been made and will come into force on 1 April 2016.

UNISON’s pay consultation closes on 18 Feb and GMB’s not until 14 March, so there’s no way that a pay agreement could be in place for councils’ April payrolls, therefore the advice in our letter of 19 Jan (see below) to increase SCPs 6, 7 and 8 to £13,891 should be acted upon.

(updated 10 February 2016)

19 January

UNISON have issued their ballot papers PDF 188Kb for consulting their members on the pay offer. As expected they are recommending that the offer is rejected, while acknowledging it is the best that can be achieved through negotiation.

Meanwhile, the National Employers have prepared guidance for councils on ensuring legal compliance with the National Living Wage in April 2016. SCP's 6, 7 and 8 will need to be uplifted to £13,891 per annum (based on 37 hour working week) to remain lawful. Full details are contained in the latest Employer Circular PDF 147Kb.

(updated 20 January 2016)

14 January

There has been a meeting of National Employers and Trades Unions regarding the final pay offer that was made by the Employers. The position now is that the unions will be consulting with their members and Unison and Unite will be recommending the offer be rejected. The unions have asked for a further meeting with employers however this will not be acceded to on the basis that was the final offer and at the limit of affordability for councils. Further details can be found in the letter PDF 167Kb from the Employers' Side.

We are waiting to hear from the unions about the likely timeframe to consult and therefore able to communicate their position. However, the consultations are highly unlikely to be concluded, and the matter finalised before preparations need to be put in place by councils for April payroll.

Councils are already considering the practicalities of preparing for 1 April 2016. SCPs 6,7 and 8 are currently below the National Living Wage figure of £7.20 and so will need to increase to £7.20 with effect from 1 April 2016 to ensure legal compliance. We will be circulating further advice from LGA regarding what will be necessary in time for adjustments to April payroll to meet NLW.

(updated 15 January 2016)

4 January

The unions have agreed to consult their members on the final offer that was made on 9 December 2015. The Trade Unions are meeting on Thursday, 7th January to decide the basis on which they will put the offer to their members. We hope they will proceed by saying that the offer is the 'best that can be achieved in negotiation'.

(updated 6 January 2016)

9 December

The Employers side met with the unions on 3 December and again on 9 December 2015 to discuss the pay offer. At the second meeting the Employers made a final pay offer, taking into account affordability and the implications of the National Living Wage. The offer is for a two year pay deal costing 2.4% over the two years with the main focus of increases being to the lower end of the scale. For details please see the letter to councils PDF 234Kb from the LGA.

(updated 10th December 2015)

November update

The NJC are due to meet on 3rd December 2015 to discuss a way forward. It is hoped that a two year deal can be reached to allow time for all parties to explore options for achieving compliance with the National Living Wage (likely to be £9.35 p/h by 2020) while minimising the compression at the bottom of the payscale. For more information see the round up of the Strategic HR Board meeting where Simon Pannell provided an update.

(updated 26th November 2015)

8 July 2015 Budget implications

The LGA have acknowledged the challenge that the budget has set with regard to Local Government Pay for the forthcoming negotiations. Meeting the requirements of the National Living Wage for those age 25+ among other aspects of the budget are going form part of the Pay Briefing meetings taking place later in the year.

(updated 9th July 2015)

2015 Pay Briefing

Chief Executives, Leaders, Heads of Human Resources and SEE Councillor Representatives were invited to attend the South East Region Pay Briefing which was held on Friday 04 September 2015 at Local Government House, London.

The main issues discussed at the meeting were as follows:

  • The 2016 trade union claim seeks deletion of all pay points below the level of the UK Living Wage - currently £7.85 per hour and an increase of £1.00 per hour for all other pay points.. The UK Living Wage is discretionary for councils and a number have implemented, or are working to achieve this.  South East Employer's opinion is that this is for local determination.

  • The new National Living Wage (NLW) is seen as being a huge challenge for local authorities as this is likely to be between £9.00 and £9.40 per hour by 2020.  This will impact significantly on pay differentials for posts above the new minimum level and maintaining a pay differential with higher level posts with supervisory/managerial duties and responsibilities.

  • In October 2015, spinal column point 5 will be deleted as it will fall below the NMW and by 01 April 2016, spinal column points 6-8 will be eliminated, with the lowest at spinal column point 9 - £7.30 per hour (£14,075 per annum).  Spinal column point 18 is likely to be the bottom spinal point in 2020 at £9.18 per hour, or possibly spinal point 19 at £9.52 per hour (£18,376 per annum).

  • It was made clear at the briefing, that It is therefore in everybody's interests, to start to plan how to get to where they need to be by 2020.

Please read a full summary of the briefing and a copy of the presentation from Harry Honnor (LGA) here.

(updated 12 October 2015)

Pay Claim Received

The Trade Unions Side have formally tabled a pay claim for 2016/17. The employers side have acknowledged receipt of the claim and will be putting in place arrangements for consulting councils and holding meeting with the Unions in due course. Details of the initial claim are set out in a letter PDF 145Kb to Sarah Messenger.

(updated 4 June 2015)