Local authorities unmoved by threat of strike action

Local government employers will not be increasing their 3 per cent pay offer
despite unions’ strike threat of action for the first time in 23 years.

Francesca Okosi, vice-president of Socpo, told Personnel Today that local
government could not afford a higher increase.

She said: "I am disappointed they are balloting. They must understand
that we are the poor cousins of the public sector and it is the best offer we
can give."

Last week, local government pay negotiators increased the offer by 0.5 to 3
per cent for 1.2 million.

The unions rejected the pay offer despite it meaning employees would get a
pay rise double the rate of inflation, and the lowest paid employees in the
sector would earn 17 per cent more than the national minimum wage.

Okosi said: "A lot of local authorities could not afford last year’s
pay rise which led to many holding back on recruitment and cutting some posts,
which is not beneficial to union members."

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