Pay Claim Evidence Submitted to ACAS

UNISON and other council unions put their case for a larger 2008-9 pay award  to ACAS last week. The submission and evidence was presented in an oral hearing, followed by the employers.  There is no indication yet of when the ACAS panel will respond to submissions.

Our claim was for: 'A one-year increase on all pay points of 6% or 50 pence an hour, whichever is the greater, with a view to making progress to a bottom rate of £6.75 pence' – the employers’ offer of 2.45% has not adequately rewarded or met the financial needs of members during 2008/09.

The unions argued that local government has treated workers on National Joint Council terms and conditions as “poor relations” for a long time.  Employers have failed to invest in pay, training and good conditions, while making over-the-odds efficiency savings and putting ever-larger off sums of money into reserves.  UNISON and other unions also pointed out that the money available to local authorities from central government for the next three years will far exceed inflation if economic predictions are correct.

The employers argued that pay offers had been constrained by government pay policy, the cost of the local government pension scheme and Single Status.

Each side asked the other questions and the arbitration panel asked questions too.  They were particularly interested in unallocated reserves - which have increased significantly in the last few years, and whether they can be used for pay purposes. The joint unions agreed to provide further information on unallocated reserves as a proportion of revenue for 2007/8 and 2008/9.  That information has been obtained and he unions are now waiting for the employers to agree it so that it can be sent to the ACAS panel.

The full Submission to the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) over the NJC Pay Award for 2008 – 2009 can be viewed here.

Also available is an appendix – Report of the Local Government Pay Commission, October 2003.