Victory in pay battle - 2.75% increase awarded

fair dealUnison members have been awarded a 2.75% pay increase for 2008/09.  The decision comes after the 2008 pay dispute was referred to ACAS, the arbitration service, after the Local Government Employers refused to increase their offer of 2.45%.  An extra £100 has already been agreed for the lowest paid. 

The award is for an additional 0.3% on the latest offer, or an additional 0.75% on the employers' initial offer of 2%.  This means that union negotiation and industrial action has resulted in increased pay for members that would not otherwise have been received.  In the current economic climate this is even more important for local government workers, often called the "poor relations of the public sector".

A joint statement by the three unions, Unison, GMB and Unite, involved in the pay dispute said: “We welcome the fact that ACAS has accepted our arguments that members should receive a higher pay increase."  ACAS stated that the award is "justified and affordable in the context of the claim for the year 2008/2009".

Unison members were paid the interim award of 2.45% in November 2008, and it has not been made clear when the final 0.3% will be paid.  This backpay will be backdated to 1 April 2008 and the Norwich City Branch will be asking the council to pay this to members as soon as possible.

The branch would like to thank all members that took part in the strike action last July, demonstrating our collective view that the employers' offer was not enough.  This worthwhile action resulted in the referral to ACAS, who recognised that local government staff were "among the lowest paid in the public sector" and deserved a better deal.