Pay dispute continues amidst local strikes and walk outs from local government

UNISON, GMB and Unite held talks in September to discuss the local government pay dispute for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

The pay offer currently stands at £1,925 for those earning up to £49,950, while higher-paid social workers could be given a 3.88% increase. 

While the three unions all agree that the national offer should be increased, they are all taking different positions when it comes to their response strategies: 

  • UNISON is looking to make a negotiated settlement
  • GMB is considering taking industrial action and balloting members until 24 October
  • Unite is currently conducting strikes in select local authorities

However, in order for a pay settlement to materialise, two of the three unions must agree on a position. This means the earliest an agreement could be reached is November.

The majority of councils across England, Scotland and Wales are included in the proposed pay deal.

Nonetheless, the National Joint Council for Local Government Services has been consistent in reinforcing that this remains the “full and final” offer.

The national employers have expressed frustration towards the unions for not reaching a decision: “We share councils’ exasperation at the unions’ continued procrastination, which causes yet further delay to their members and the wider workforce receiving the 2023 pay increase of £1,925.”

Here at Social Personnel, we support all social workers in their fight for fair pay.

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carlette Isaac

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