Reforms help to seal three-year pay deal for local government

Local
government employers have secured a three-year pay deal, along with a package
of reforms, in an agreement with the three town hall unions – Unison, the
Transport and General Workers Union and GMB.

In
terms of pay, the deal is worth 2.75 per cent in year one and 2.95 per cent in
years two and three.

Currently,
the local government pay bill stands at £14.7bn for the country’s 1.3m local
council workers.

On
top of the pay rise the employers have won agreement from the unions to its
six-point reform plan, which consists of:

● a new approach to local pay reviews – to reach local
agreement to bring forward comprehensive proposals for modernised pay and
rewards policies in all authorities by 31 March 2007

● reviews of other diversity issues

● a joint review of conditions of service within the
national agreement to look specifically at car allowances, annual leave,
sickness pay and leave, and maternity and paternity pay and leave

● local workforce development plans

● replacing prescriptive premium rates (for shift,
evening, overtime and weekend working) in the national agreement with a set of
principles as recommended by the 2003 Pay Commission report

● a new agreement on shared principles for
modernisation and improvement.

The
deal struck by the employers was backed by more than 98 per cent of local
authorities.

The
employers said the agreement was a fair deal for council staff but admitted
that it will be a challenge for local authorities to fund it.

Councillor
Brian Baldwin, the Local Government Association representative who chairs the
employers’ side in the pay negotiations said: “It’s been a tough, butt
productive round of negotiations and we have secured a fair deal for the
country’s 1.3 million council workers and for local authorities alike.

Baldwin
said that all those involved agreed that "this is the best deal that could
be obtained through negotiations. It gives us all an affordable, reforming and
fair three-year pay deal”.

By
Quentin Reade

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