NJC Pay Claim 2022

This NJC pay claim for 2022/23 is made by the Joint Trade Union Side (UNISON, GMB and UNITE) to the Local Government Association.

Our claim is for:

• A substantial increase with a minimum of £2,000 or the current rate of RPI – whichever is greater – on all spinal column points.

In addition:
• A Covid-19 recognition payment
• A national minimum agreement on homeworking policies for all councils and the introduction of a home working allowance
• An urgent review of all mileage rates currently applying
• A review and update of NJC terms for family leave and pay
• A review of term time only contracts and consideration of retainers
• Reduction in the working week (without loss of pay) to 35 hours (34 in London) plus one additional day of annual leave

Key points in our claim

CONTEXT OF OUR CLAIM

• Council and school workers have endured a decade of pay freezes and below average pay awards
• Local government workers have lost on average 27.5% from the value of their pay spine since 2010
• The new cost of living crisis plus a standstill on NJC conditions has devalued low pay even further
• Just over half (51%) the cost of meeting this pay claim would be recouped by the government
• Further calls to central government for new funding for pay are needed
• The TU side urges local government employers to join us in making those renewed calls

COST OF LIVING CRISIS

• A sharp rise in the cost of living is hitting our members hard
• They are experiencing the fastest fall in living standards since the 1950s
• Inflation is forecast to peak at over 10% this year
• Economic conditions are now unlikely to return to pre-Covid levels until at least 2024
• Support measures offered by the government are not enough

ECONOMIC BACKGROUND

• Over the past 12 years, most NJC SPCs have lost a third of their value
• Many of the roles hit by long-term low pay are those likely to be worst hit by the cost of living crisis
• Local government will fail to attract or retain staff if wages fall further below the cost of living
• For 10 of the last 11 years, NJC pay awards have fallen below average pay awards in other sectors
• Household debt in the UK is now rising at its fastest rate since Covid-19 began
• UK household credit card borrowing in February 2022 saw the biggest increase since records began

COMPARING NJC PAY

• NJC SCPs 1-3 now all fall below the £9.90 UK Foundation Living Wage rate
• NJC pay would need to rise by more than 4% each year over the next three annual pay awards to meet the expected minimum wage target by 2024
• Deleting pay points on a new pay spine should always be a last resort
• The NJC should seek to create some breathing room between the legal minimum and SCP 1

RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION PRESSURES

• 78% of councils are experiencing some form of recruitment and retention difficulties
• COVID-19 workforce absences have restricted the ability recruit and retain staff
• Unemployment is at a record low and local government pay is stagnating – this will only make recruitment and retention harder
• Some traditionally low-paid retail jobs have quietly overtaken local government pay at the bottom

PAY-RELATED CONDITIONS OF WORK

• Covid-19 continues to put some strain on local government services and staff – a recognition payment would go some way towards recognising this
• All councils must have a homeworking policy in place and that it should include an allowance
• HMRC millage rates which have remained unchanged since 2011-12 and do not reflect new cost of living rises to fuel – an urgent review of all mileage rates is needed ASAP
• NJC terms for Family leave and pay compares unfavourably and need a major review
• A review of term time only contracts is needed
• A reduction in the working week (without loss of pay) and an additional day of annual leave would help to offset historic low pay

We need more for council and school workers’ pay – gear up for the 2022 campaign!

Tell us why you need a real pay rise using the hashtag #weneedmore.

Send us videos or written comments about why you need a pay rise to: Nicola.Moran@birminghamUnison.co.uk & James.Burnett@birminghamunisonco.uk