"GMB Prepares For Fight Over Local Government Pay 2008 Claim Submitted"

GMB Press Release

6% or 50p per hour claim whichever is the greater for 1.4 million local government workers
15 Jan 2008

The national trade union side for Local Government employees has submitted a 2008 pay claim for 1.4 million council workers. The claim is for an increase to all pay points of 6% or 50p per hour, whichever is the greater for each individual employee. The adult starting rate in Local Government is only £6 per hour, the lowest in the public sector.

Outstanding claims for improvements to terms and conditions will be dealt with separately so that the focus of the joint trade unions campaign will be concentrated on pay.

Local Government workers 2007 pay deal was worth 2.5% which was well below inflation meaning that Local Government workers lost money in real terms. Inflation is currently running over 4%, with basic living costs going through the roof. So we need a good pay increase just to keep up with price rises.

Local authorities have been making savings of over £1 billion a year for the past three years and have been allowed to make above inflation council tax increases. The employers can afford a decent pay rise.

The Unions are awaiting a date for a joint meeting with the employers to discuss the pay rise which GMB members want in place by the anniversary date of 1st April 2008.

Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary, “GMB will not be fobbed off. GMB members working in local government deserve a good pay rise, they’ve earned it. At the national Trade Union side meeting delegates for all unions agreed to campaign fast and hard together. GMB expect government to try to keep local government pay down; GMB expect employers to plead poverty. So let’s be clear. This year will see council workers stand up for their rights; GMB is starting the preparations now because it looks as though industrial action is unavoidable. GMB is getting ready for the fight.”

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