Good news for council workers: they're getting first pay rise in three years. Bad news: it's 1%

 

More than one million council workers have been offered their first pay rise in three years, with a proposed increase of 1 per cent.

Local authority employers said the offer to workers in Wales, England and Northern Ireland was the best they could make in the face of "significant" spending cuts.

Unions have been pressing for a "substantial" increase, with no strings attached, complaining that council workers were at "breaking point" over pay.

The 1 per cent offer, the first since 2009, when a three-year pay freeze kicked in, covers employees earning at least £12,145 a year, but does not include teachers, firefighters and council chief executives.

The offer would add more than £150 million to the paybill.

Sian Timoney, who chairs the employers' side, said: "Councils have been consistently clear that our hardworking employees should receive a pay offer this year. This is the best offer possible in light of significant cuts to council funding. It is fair to taxpayers and fair to our employees and recognises the financial pressures they are under.

"However, I am very disappointed that the unions have rejected our repeated attempts to discuss terms and conditions to ensure they are fair and appropriate for councils and their employees.

"There have been no significant changes to terms and conditions since 1997. Local government needs a modern and reformed employment framework for the future and this will remain a priority objective for the sector."

Heather Wakefield, Unison's head of local government, said: "Local government workers have seen a 16 per cent decline in the value of their pay in the last three years, coupled with significant local attacks on terms and conditions.

"Unison's local government committee will be mindful of this when we consider this improved offer. We held out for a better deal and will now be consulting our local government members, the majority of whom are women who have been particularly hard hit by the coalition's cuts to jobs, services, pay and conditions."

Brian Strutton, national officer of the GMB, said: "We will consider this pay offer and then consult our members to ask whether they wish to accept it or not.

"My initial reaction is that there is likely to be relief that we have broken the three year pay freeze but disappointment that there is only 1 per cent on the table. We'll see whether that's enough to satisfy our members."

Unite national officer Fiona Farmer said: "In the last three years there has been a pay freeze, with the result that earnings for the average employee have slumped by 16 per cent.

"Yet, when you contrast this with the excessive pay of such council bosses on £225,000-a-year, there is a strong whiff of hypocrisy. The gravy train for some top bosses is steaming ahead.

"The offer is paltry given that local council employees provide vital services in their local community on a daily basis.

"We will be considering the offer in the context of the savage cuts in local government which have seen 200,000 job losses since the coalition's austerity programme started to bite."

Unite will be meeting with the other unions next month to discuss the offer and will ask its members for their view.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
i100
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
media
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Retail Business Analyst

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Ecommerce/Retail/E...

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz