EMPLOYERS DELAY LOCAL GOVERNMENT PAY TALKS
At a meeting yesterday with the national employers, GMB along with the other trade unions had expected to begin pay negotiations but the employers said they were not ready. The employers said that they did not yet have a mandate to make any proposals although they repeated their preference for a two-year deal to allow time to renegotiate the national pay structure.
Brian Strutton and myself, on behalf of GMB, said these delaying tactics were totally unacceptable. The employers and trade unions had previously agreed that pay negotiations should be undertaken and concluded in good time. To help achieve this, the trade unions submitted the formal claim way back in June, whilst the employers completed their soundings from councils six weeks ago. Despite all this they were still time wasting. We reminded the employers in the strongest terms that we could not, and would not, discuss their desire for a two-year deal unless they put some money on the table and if they did not hurry up and do so, then we would assume they had no intention of reaching an agreement with us. We also pointed out that with the National Living Wage overtaking the bottom of the pay scales next April, when our annual pay rise is due, it is imperative that we have an agreement in place by then that recognises the future impact of rises in the NLW as well – that’s why we understand the logic of a longer term pay deal but, and we made this very clear, the employers can’t have it for nothing.
Our next meeting is on 3 December and Brian and I have said we must have a substantive response to our pay claim then. Although our meeting with the employers finished on less than friendly terms we got a message late last night that they will indeed be ready to negotiate on 3 December. We’ll see.
National Officer – Public Services Section
Contact: Justin Bowden
GMB National Office
22 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD
Posted: 16th November 2015