Socpo optimistic over local government pay deal

Local
government HR body Socpo is optimistic the proposed local government pay
settlement will improve council services.

Unions
are urging members to accept the Employers’ Organisation’s two-year pay offer
that includes a minimum council wage of £5 an hour and staggered increases of
up to 10.9 per cent.

Staff
ballots finish in mid-September and all industrial action has been suspended
during that time.

Keith
Handley, immediate past president of Socpo, believes the pay offer is good
enough to help tackle local government’s key issues of attracting, retaining
and motivating staff.

He
said: “If the proposals are agreed I think they will improve local government.
The new two-year pay deal will surely improve recruitment and retention issues
and employee morale that will spin off into improved services.

“I am
pleased with a two-year deal – in fact my own preference would have been for a
three-year deal. The national industrial relations climate is changing as we
move into the government’s second period of office and nobody wants to see
local government pay becoming the annual arena for industrial action.”

Meanwhile,
the GMB trade union has warned local government private sector contactors that
they face strike action unless they also implement the pay deal.

Ben Willmott

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