Local Government Pay 2021

The National Employers have made a pay offer to the NJC unions.


National Employers for local government services

To: Chief Executives in England, Wales and N Ireland
(additional copies for HR Director and Finance Director)
Members of the National Employers’ Side
Regional Directors14

14 May 2021

Dear Chief Executive,

I am writing to update you on the work we have been doing on your behalf on the local government national pay negotiations for 2021.

You will recall that in February the unions lodged their pay claim for:

  • A substantial increase with a minimum of 10% on all spinal column points
  • Introduction of a homeworking allowance for all staff who are working from home
  • A national minimum agreement on homeworking policies for all councils
  • A reduction of the working week to 35 hours with no loss of pay, and a reduction to 34 hours a week in London. Part-time staff to be given a choice of a pro rata reduction, or retaining the same hours and being paid a higher percentage of FTE
  • A minimum of 25 days annual leave, plus public holidays and statutory days, for all starting employees, plus an extra day holiday on all other holiday rates that depend on service
  • An agreement on a best practice national programme of mental health support for all local authorities and school staff
  • A joint review of job descriptions, routes for career developments and pay banding for school support staff, and completion of the outstanding work of the joint term-time only review group
  • A joint review of the provisions in the Green Book for maternity / paternity / shared parental / adoption leave.

During March, councils in each of the nine English regions, plus Wales and Northern Ireland, were consulted at virtual regional pay briefings. Feedback from those events was relayed to the National Employers, who met on 31 March and have spent the intervening weeks having the necessary discussions with their colleagues, and elsewhere, before meeting again today.

The National Employers have today made the following one-year offer to the unions representing the main local government NJC workforce:

  • With effect from 1 April 2021, an increase of 1.50 per cent on all NJC pay points 1 and above
  • Completion of the outstanding work of the joint Term-Time Only review group

The employers have also proposed that the NJC begins immediate exploratory discussions on three other elements of the claim, as follows:

  • A national minimum agreement on homeworking policies for all councils
  •  An agreement on a best practice national programme of mental health support for all local authorities and school staff
  •  A joint review of the provisions in the Green Book for maternity / paternity / shared parental / adoption leave

However, there was no support from councils for the offer to include thee other elements of the unions’ claim, therefore the employers have rejected the following:

  • Introduction of a homeworking allowance for all staff who are working from home
  • A reduction of the working week to 35 hours with no loss of pay, and a reduction to 34 hours a week in London. Part-time staff to be given a choice of a pro rata reduction, or retaining the same hours and being paid a higher percentage of FTE
  • A minimum of 25 days annual leave, plus public holidays and statutory days, for all starting employees, plus an extra day holiday on all other holiday rates that depend on service

The employers also rejected the element of the claim that seeks, “…a joint review of job descriptions, routes for career developments and pay banding for school support staff” as these are matters entirely for local determination rather than by the NJC.

A copy of the letter sent to the NJC trade unions, along with a copy of the employers’ media statement, are set out below.

I shall continue to keep you informed of developments.

Yours sincerely,

Naomi Cooke
Employers’ Secretary


 

Jon Richards, Rehana Azam, Jim Kennedy
Trade Union Side Secretaries
NJC for Local Government Services
c/o UNISON Centre
130 Euston Road
London NW1 2AY

14 May 2021

Dear Jon, Rehana and Jim

LOCAL GOVERNMENT PAY 2021

I am writing on behalf of the Employers’ Side of the NJC to respond formally to the Trade Union Side’s pay claim.
The National Employers wish to make the following one-year offer:

  • With effect from 1 April 2021, an increase of 1.50 per cent on all NJC pay points 1 and above
  • Completion of the outstanding work of the joint Term-Time Only review group
  • The employers also propose that the NJC begins immediate exploratory discussions on three other elements of your claim, as follows:
  • A national minimum agreement on homeworking policies for all councils
  • An agreement on a best practice national programme of mental health support for all local authorities and school staff
  • A joint review of the provisions in the Green Book for maternity / paternity / shared parental / adoption leave
  • There was no support from councils for the offer to include three other elements of your claim, therefore the employers reject the following:
  • Introduction of a homeworking allowance for all staff who are working from home
  • A reduction of the working week to 35 hours with no loss of pay, and a reduction to 34 hours a week in London. Part-time staff to be given a choice of a pro rata reduction, or retaining the same hours and being paid a higher percentage of FTE
  • A minimum of 25 days annual leave, plus public holidays and statutory days, for all starting employees, plus an extra day holiday on all other holiday rates that depend on service

The employers also reject the element of your claim that seeks, “…a joint review of job descriptions, routes for career developments and pay banding for school support staff” as these are matters entirely for local determination rather than by the NJC.

The National Employers hope this offer can quickly form the basis of an agreement between the two Sides so that employees, who continue to provide such critical support to their communities, can receive a well-deserved pay rise as soon as practicable.

Yours sincerely,

Naomi Cooke
Employers’ Secretary

PRESS RELEASE: 14 MAY 2021
Council employees’ pay offer announced
Council employees have been offered a pay increase of 1.50 per cent from 1 April 2021.

The National Employers, who negotiate pay on behalf of 350 local authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, made the offer to unions today. It will affect around 1.5 million employees.

Notes to editors
The total increase to the national paybill resulting from this offer is £279m (covering the period to 31 March 2022).
This pay offer does not apply to council chief executives, senior officers, teachers or firefighters, who are covered by separate national pay arrangements.

The National Joint Council negotiates the pay, terms and conditions of staff in local authorities. It agrees an annual uplift to the national pay spine, on which each individual council decides where to place its employees. Each council takes into account a number of factors such as job size and local labour market conditions when deciding an employee’s salary. There are no nationally determined jobs or pay grades in local government, unlike in other parts of the public sector.
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