Interim pay rise for local government staff set to be announced

An interim pay award is expected to be unveiled this afternoon by local government employers and unions to tide staff over the Christmas break, it is understood.

Pay discussions between councils and unions over a pay increase for employees have been bogged down after the government offer of 2.45% was rejected in July.

But negotiations between the Local Government Employers and public sector union Unison are expected to conclude at lunchtime today, where a pay increase of 2.45% backdated to April will be encouraged for council and local authority staff in December.

Jim Savege, who is involved with the Local Government Employers negotiations, told Personnel Today that two councils and approximately 30 local authorities have already implemented the pay increase, with more expected in the near future.

“Rather than continue to wait for national negotiations to conclude, we want to make progress, and a growing number of authorities will be following those councils’ leads shortly,” he said.

Stephen Moir, director of people and policy, Cambridgeshire County Council, announced the 2.45% interim pay increase for non-management staff yesterday.

“This has the backing of our local trade union branches and is in recognition of the pressures faced by our staff and their families at present,” Moir said.

Councillors from throughout the country will vote on the deal, which would provide employees of local authorities an interim pay increase until dispute resolution service Acas made its final decision.

A spokeswoman for Unison said the decision may not come until 2009, but said it was a positive step.

“We have been pushing for agreement to ensure local government workers get an increase now, so this is helping people in advance of the Acas decision,” the spokeswoman said. “However, [the increase of 2.45%] won’t have any bearing on the case.”

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