Arbitration For 2008 Pay Deal Adds An Extra 0.3% For 1.5 Million Local Government Workers In England

3 Mar 2009

The arbitration panel that heard the outstanding reference from last year’s local government pay negotiations have awarded an additional 0.3% (on top of the settlement already paid last year).

This award is binding and is backdated to 1 April 2008 and brings the total value for last year to 2.75% or 3.6% for the lowest paid workers.

GMB and the other Trade Unions argued for more at arbitration and the employers pleaded poverty. The arbitrators have struck what they consider to be a fair balance. The arbitration now brings 2008 pay to an end. The response of the LGA to the award was to say that the award would cost jobs.

Brian Strutton GMB National secretary for public services responded to the LGA reaction that the award would cost jobs. He said “The Tory LGA are behaving hysterically in saying that an extra 0.3% will lead to job losses. Only this morning they were talking about creating an extra 5,000 jobs. They are all over the place. The reality is that 0.3 % is the independent arbitrator’s award after extensive submissions from councils about how much they can afford to pay which was taken fully into account. 0.3% will not be a surprise or a problem to any Council that has been paying attention to the arbitration process – in fact, it’s Council workers who may be disappointed.”

In a joint statement in response to the award, GMB and the other unions, said:

“We welcome the fact that ACAS has accepted our arguments that the union 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. ACAS also recognised that local government workers are among the lowest paid in the public sector and they have been affected significantly by the worsening economic climate. We have always argued that local government workers have become the poor relations of the public sector. They have contributed enormously to improving local services and meeting council efficiency targets and they deserve a better deal.  Cleaners, binmen, school meals workers, librarians, admin and clerical workers, teaching assistants, home care and social workers are among those covered by the award.”