Local government employers will return to the negotiating table after a week of widespread strikes and soaring inflation, a senior employer representative has pledged – but they won’t increase their pay offer.
Last week’s two-day strike by members of the Unite and Unison trade unions saw at least 100,000 public sector workers walk out in protest at a below-inflation pay offer of 2.45%, forcing nearly 700 schools and museums to close across the UK.
Jim Savege, the Public Sector People Managers’ Association leader on pay and reward, told Personnel Today that employers were committed to participating in further dialogue, regardless of the strikes.
“There’s a desire to find a settlement, and employers have already asked to get back to the table, so it’s up to the unions now,” he said.
Inflation rose to 3.8% in June – the highest level since 1992, according to figures released by the Office of National Statistics last week. Savege admitted inflation was making negotiations more difficult, but said more than money was at stake.
“The offer can’t be called a generous one, but it is affordable,” he said.