Stockport Councillors have passed a Labour motion which not only calls for an end to the Public Sector Pay Cap, but asks the Government go further in accepting the NJC (National Joint Council) pay claim – a claim worked out between a number of public sector unions.
Thursday’s Full Council meeting (14th September), saw the Labour motion calling for Local Government and other public sector employees to receive the NJC’s claim of least the national living wage minimum, and a 5% pay rise for all pay grades above this.
This package, worked out between the major public sector unions Unite, Unison and GMB, is intended to address problems arising from seven years of pay freezes and below inflation pay rises imposed upon public sector workers by Government. This has seen public sector workers face real-terms cuts in wages across seven consecutive years from 2010.
Unions highlight that this is leading to a recruitment and retention crisis across the public sector, which is affecting service delivery in many areas. They note that 71% pf Councils report recruitment and retention problems, resulting in a £2 billion (28%) increase in spending on temporary and contract staff between 2012 and 2015.
Commenting on the passage of the motion, Cllr Dickie Davies said:
‘The public sector pay cap has to end. Our police, nurses, teachers and firefighters are all due an increase in their pay. But council workers and support staff in schools have been particularly undervalued and underpaid for too long.
“Local Authority staff have suffered a 21% real terms decline in their salaries since 2010. It is time to show the staff in or town halls and schools that their hard work is valued’.
Cabinet Member for Reform and Governance, Cllr David Sedgwick, added:
“We must be clear- what is needed from Government is proper funding for Local Authorities, accompanied by proper funding for their staff. The one can not come at the expense of the other.
“In order to manage the significant changes demanded of Local Government, from managing huge reforms in service delivery to reducing resources and the new devolved arrangements– this Council needs to be able to attract and retain the right staff.
“Today we are calling upon Government for a change which must come. This situation is shared across Local Government – our valued workers have been squeezed enough. “
- For further information on the NJC pay claim see here: http://www.unitetheunion.org/uploaded/documents/NJC%20Pay%20Claim%202018-1911-31344.pdf)
- The full text of the motion (iv) is available here: http://democracy.stockport.gov.uk/documents/g23149/Agenda%20frontsheet%2014th-Sep-2017%2018.00%20Council%20Meeting.pdf?T=0
- And the Council meeting webcast can be viewed through this portal: