FAO: GMB Members working across Local Government and Schools, including members in Academies that follow NJC, or who have NJC contracts
As you will be aware NJC trade unions have been in on-going pay talks with Local Government and School employers for some time. Talks started well before we moved into this unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic.
Whilst GMB’s priority has been to support all our members across Local Government and School through the pandemic we have continued to hold talks with the Local Government Association (LGA) on the pay claim trade union submitted last June 2019.
The initial offer of 2% tabled by the employers a few months ago was rejected outright and the trade unions asked the employers to improve the offer. We also wrote to the employers as we moved into this pandemic; details of the letter can be found at https://www.gmb.org.uk/sites/default/files/080420_Letter-Naomi-Cooke.pdf
Today (16/04/20) the LGA employers tabled their revised offer headlines of the offer are as follows:
With effect from 1 April 2020, an increase of 2.75 per cent on all NJC pay points 1 and above
With effect from 1 April 2020, an increase of one day to the minimum annual leave entitlement as set out at Part 2 Para 7.2 in the National Agreement. This increase would apply just to those employees whose leave entitlement at 1 April 2020 is twenty-one days (plus extra statutory and public holidays)
An agreement that the Joint Secretaries should continue discussions on “a comprehensive joint national review of the workplace causes of stress and mental health”
The National Employers have also proposed that the Joint Secretaries enter into discussions, without prejudice, in order to examine all options for ensuring the sector – and the NJC pay spine - can meet the challenge of the Government’s target for the National Living Wage in the coming years.
Employer side to make representations to government in order to seek funding for an additional amount to be awarded above the tabled 2.75% to employees in recognition of the exceptional hard work.
GMB INITIAL RESPONSE
The GMB alongside sister unions have responded to the offer expressing disappointment. Details of the letter will be shared with you shortly.
In response to the offer
Rehana Azam, GMB National Secretary, said:
“We rejected the initial opening offer of 2% as it was woefully low - and that was before the seismic shift caused by coronavirus.
“Right now, our most precious resources are our key workers. They are getting us through this pandemic with their invaluable and selfless dedication in numerous critical roles.
"That’s why we are so disappointed the LGA hasn’t made a strong enough case before tabling a 2.75% offer to government to fund a key workers allowance.
“The ask is simple; we want employers and the Government to recognise the strain and huge risks our members are working under. Many of them are struggling to access PPE and are still waiting for the coronavirus testing they have been promised.
“We will continue to make representations for the best settlement and let GMB members have their say on pay.”
In GMB our members always have a say on their pay so a full pay ballot for you to have a vote on the offer will follow but please note the initial next steps are as follows:
1. A full meeting of GMB Senior Reps of the GMB Local Government and Schools Committee’s will take place Monday 20th April 2020. The meeting will be held virtually.
2. GMB members will be asked to support our efforts in pushing government to top the tabled 2.75% and details will emerge on how you can do this.
3. A timetable for the ballot will be worked out but we do not anticipate the ballot to open until we have exhausted the push to government to top up the 2.75%
4. We will continue to carry on with the pay negotiations on the areas that need further talks until we conclude to a final pay offer
GMB appreciates how difficult the current working environment our members are operating under and we will continue to ensure we make full representation on your pay. Once we reach a conclusion the final offer will be put to every member to a vote to have their say on pay.
GMB appreciate that key workers are on the frontline but please note now is the time to build our union power so if you are aware of any work colleagues not in a union please encourage them to join at www.gmb.org.uk
We appreciate you may have a number of questions on the next steps but please be assured will continue to provide regular prompt updates in the coming days and weeks. If you need to raise anything on pay please contact your local GMB Rep/Officer.
Can we take this opportunity to thank you for keeping us safe and for all you are doing in getting us through this pandemic. Please stay safe.
GMB National Secretary
GMB National Officer